As I'm sure any parent can attest to, the first week at home with a newborn can take some adjustment. I have been incredibly lucky to have Sam and my mum around to help.
During her first visit to our home, our midwife told Sam that if it was my job to feed the baby, then it was his job to feed me. Yes please!
Sam took this to heart and prepared some excellent meals. And I am ever indebted to him for preparing a cheese feast on the day we came home from the hospital, with all of the soft, unpasteurized cheeses that were forbidden during pregnancy. Cheeses for the win.
(By the way, the best cheeses in Bern are procured from this man...)
One of Sam's classic dishes is his spaghetti. He makes a sauce packed with vegetables and lets it simmer for a few hours until all the flavours mingle. Sometimes he makes it with ground meat, other times just the vegetables suffice.
We often make a big batch of it and save the leftovers. I like it so much that I sometimes just eat an entire bowl of the sauce with no pasta at all.
500 g ground meat
2 onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
oregano, thyme, rosemary, chili flakes, 3 bay leaves
5 carrots, shredded
1 celery root, shredded
3 cans tomatoes
splash of red wine or stock
salt and pepper to taste
The first order of business is to properly brown the meat. Start with a large pot over medium high heat. Add only as much ground meat as covers the bottom of the pan. Once the meat is nicely browned, remove it from the pot and set aside—this should take two or thee goes, depending on the size of your pot. If you have a very lean meat, you may have to add a splash of oil first to keep it from sticking to the bottom.
Once you have browned and set aside all the meat, there should be a thin layer of fat on the bottom of the pan. If you have leaner meat, you may need to add a splash of oil, or if your meat is not so lean, you can pour off some of the excess fat. Add the onions to this and cook for about ten minutes over medium heat, or until translucent.
Add the garlic and tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes.
Add the seasonings.
Add the carrots and celery and cook for another ten minutes. If they start to stick to the bottom of the pot, add a splash of water.
Tip in the cans of tomatoes and the splash of wine or stock. Bring to a boil, then let simmer for at least an hour. Remove the bay leaves before serving.
Serve with pasta...or just fill a bowl and eat with a spoon.
- If you can't find celery root, you could use finely minced celery stalks.
- Any kind of ground meat would work, pork, beef, turkey etc. Alternatively, you can leave out the meat altogether.