Hearty Winter Pasta

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Made this way for the first time on Feb 18, 2016

INGREDIENTS:

Hearty Winter Pasta

Adding herbs, meat, and mushrooms to the tomato base.

1 bunch of celery, chopped
2 small or one large zucchinis, grated
12 roma tomatoes, cubed
1 bay leaf
1 pound ground beef
1/2 pound ground pork
3-4 cups mushrooms, chopped
1 Tablespoon honey
2 teaspoons dried basil
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon fennel seed
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, or more to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

Marinara Sauce Base 

(NOTE: Herb and spice flavouring for the sauce is based on Fresh Tomato Marinara Sauce at AllRecipes.com, but the complete sauce is modified substantially from that helpful starting point.)

Saute celery for about 10 minutes. Add zucchinis and continue to cook for about another 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and bay leaf, and heat up over medium-low heat. Once liquid is bubbling, lower heat a little more and simmer gently for 30 minutes, until mushy.

Once well mushed, add honey, basil, oregano, marjoram, salt, pepper, fennel seed, and a tiny pinch of crushed red pepper. Also, add prepped meat and mushrooms. Continue to simmer the sauce gently for another 30 minutes.

Just before serving, add balsamic vinegar and stir in well. Serve sauce over pasta.

Meat

While simmering the tomatoes, brown 1 pound of ground beef and 1/2 pound of ground pork until thoroughly cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes. When the marinara sauce has cooked for the first 30 minutes, add the cooked meat to the sauce.

Mushrooms

Brown chopped mushrooms for about 10 minutes. Add to the sauce when it’s time to add the meat.

Pasta

Boil a large pot of salted water. Add the pasta you’ve chosen, stir, and cook for about 9 minutes or according to package directions, until al dente. Drain, rinse lightly, and keep warm until ready to serve.

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