25 May 2018

the ultimate comfort food: cheesy beef pasta

Are you not dying right now?

If I had one weakness (well, I have many, but I digress), it’s this pasta. I found the original recipe on Tastemade and it reminded me of the old-school Hamburger Helper I used to eat when I was a kid, but all dressed up. I futzed with the original quite a bit to suit my tastes and preferences (i.e. the fact that I HATE HEAVY CREAM WITH SUCH A PASSION), and I assure you that you will weep into your bowl and go for seconds and thirds. This is also a dish that keeps well in the fridge (for up to 3 days) and in the freezer for up to a month. Candidly, I’ve never been able to make it past the third day without hoovering this dish. I’ve even, gulp, had it for breakfast.

It’s that good.

INGREDIENTS: Adapted from Tastemade
3/4 raw, unsalted cashews
1 cup water
1 lb of ground sirloin (I like the 85/15 combination since there’s another fat to keep this juicy.)
1 tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 shallots, minced
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp crushed black pepper
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 1/4 cups of tomato sauce
1 1/2 cups of beef broth
1 pound of your favorite pasta (I’d go with penne, rigatoni, elbows. I use Bionature gluten-free pasta.)
2 cups of your favorite shredded cheese (I love mixing cheddar and mozzarella)
1/2 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped

DIRECTIONS
Soak the cashews in your cup of water for minimum 2 hours. If you have a fancy-ass blender (Vitamix or something in the million dollar mark), you can blitz this after an hour. However, for everyone else, 2-4 hours of soaking works. Why am I doing this? I hate heavy cream. With cashews, you get the creamy consistency without feeling like you’re carting around a boulder in your stomach, post meal.

In a large pot or Dutch oven, on medium-high heat, add the oil, garlic, shallots, salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper, and sweat for 2-3 minutes until the mixture has softened. Add the ground beef and toss to coat. The biggest mistake people make with beef is that they overwork it. YOU DON’T NEED TO TOUCH YOUR BEEF EVERY TWO SECONDS. Let it sit an toss/break up the beef every few minutes. You want the beef completely browned. This will take 6-7 minutes.

Add the tomato paste and toss to coat. Cook for another 1-2 minutes. Now, drain your soaked cashews and add them to your blender. Add a cup of water to the blender, your tomato sauce, and beef broth, and blitz until smooth. Add the sauce mixture to your beef and toss to coat. Bring your mixture to a boil and then add your pasta and stir. Reduce your heat to low. Cover and cook for 10-12 minutes. Your noodles should soften and the sauce should reduce to a creamy consistency. If your mixture is still a little watery, cover, and continue to cook. Trust me, the sauce will reduce. Before you add the parsley, taste test and see if you need any additional seasoning. Mix in your cheese.

Toss in your chopped parsley. Serve hot and cry sweet tears of joy.

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I used to rummage through photos as a means of being cruel to myself. You used to be thin! You used to be slightly fashionable! You used to be disciplined! And as the edges softened, as your wont to do as you get older and let a lot of the hardness within you go, it occurred to me that the things I used to want and love were violent. I was ruthless to my body to get it to a certain shape instead of eating to sustain myself and moving to feel. I went at everything so hard! Then I worked all hours of the day and night until it made me literally sick. My hardness, my love and desire to look and be a certain way, was hurting me.
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The medium series is a GO, you guys! I’m shaking with excitement because faux-marketer scam artists and their wack courses are a pandemic. They don’t have experience in what they’re selling. They haven’t achieved for others what they’re selling beyond their own channels. And they don’t actually understand what they’re selling. I can’t tell you how many lead magnets and PDFs I’ve downloaded and webinars I barely lived through where people didn’t even understand the basic principles of brand platform development. They got the terminology wrong. They got the process wrong. Data was non-existent. I was APPALLED at the AUDACITY of these dumb chumps. So I decided to create a FREE mini course that takes you through the full brand platform process. I’m publishing one overview (9K words), and 8 follow ups that flesh out the overview. You’ll get information in layman’s terms, complete with exercises and real-world examples. I’ll also be sharing a link when all of this is up where you can view all articles FOR FREE, bypassing the paywall. I’ll keep you posted on my progress. I didn’t realize how hard this would be, creating lessons that were instructive and easy to understand. I’m setting aside time to finish this while I do client work that pays the bills. I am happy medium is paying me, which is pretty awesome.
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This is the first in a series.
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Now I will lie down. .
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