Brad’s Basic Pasta Sauce

Here is the recipe for my basic red sauce.
½ lb of ground beef
½ lb of spicy Italian sausage meat (out of casing)
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato paste
1 diced green pepper
1 diced onion
4-5 diced stalks of celery
4-5 diced mushrooms
3 cloves of minced garlic
1 tbsp of dried basil
1 tbsp of dried oregano
1 tbsp of dried parsley
1 tsp of dried chilli flakes
2 tsp of salt
1 tsp of pepper
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
Brown the ground beef and sausage in a deep skillet or saucepan (I use my wok).  Be sure to remove the sausage from the casing.  Once the meat has browned, drain fat and add the pepper, onion, celery, mushrooms and garlic.  Cook on med-high heat until the veggies soften (about 10-15 mins).  If your veggies are sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning, add a few tablespoons of water to your pan.  Once the veggies are semi-soft add the tomatoes and tomato paste.  Stir everything together.  Add the remaining ingredients and let it simmer on medium heat for at least 15 minutes.  The longer you let it simmer the better it tastes.  Remember to stir everyone few minutes.  Be sure to taste it and adjust seasoning as you see fit.
This is a very nice and simple sauce.  It works well on any pasta.  Also you can drop the meat and add shrimp and/or scallops for seafood pasta.  You could also leave the meat out, bake some meatballs and have classic spaghetti and meatballs.  This is just a great alternative to cracking open a can and dumping it on noodles.

Say cheese

Say cheese

So last night was my first attempt at making homemade macaroni and cheese.  Personally I felt it didn’t turn out the way I wanted.  I want some help.  I want a real nice and creamy mac and cheese that is full of flavor.  I like the idea of baking the top with some cheese and breadcrumbs for a nice crust.  Here is what I have so far:

8oz         Cooked macaroni
3tbsp     Margarine
3tbsp     Flour
3c            Skim Milk
2c            Grated Sharp Cheddar
1/2c       Grated Parmesan Cheese
1/2c       Grated Sharp Cheddar
2tbsp     Fine Bread Crumbs
Dash      Paprika

Pre-heat the oven to 350.  In a sause pan, melt the margarine.  Slowly add the flower, combining to form a roux.  Slowly add the milk.  Make sure whisk the mixture smooth.  Add the 2c of cheddar and Parmesan cheese.  Stir until the cheese is melted and well combined.  Place macaroni in a casserole dish.  Pour cheese sauce over the macaroni.  Stir gently so the sauce covers the macaroni.  Sprinkle remaining cheddar over the top of the dish.  Sprinkle bread crumbs over the cheddar.  Add the dash of paprika over the top of the dish.  Bake for 30 minutes.  Let stand for 5 minutes after removing from the oven.

So that is what I did.  It was OK but it wasn’t great.  Please help out if you can.  This seems like something could become a favorite but I just wasn’t really happy with my result.  Comments away!