Friday, September 13, 2013

Ode to the Yellow Stove

Howdy folks! Guess.... Whose... Back?!

Why yes, that'd be me... ready to bring you my latest culinary adventures galore!

We had ourselves a fantastic week of catchin' up the greatest, the best, the most missed friend we have venturing his way to home in good ol' Indy!

Circa January 2012
We met up with him at a local place called MacNiven's Restaurant and Bar on the hip and constantly growing Mass Ave.! Definitely a place to see downtown if you visit Indy! Plus some of his family joined, and come later in the evening, some of mi familia! HOLLLLA! ;)

Sorry, my talking and insistent use of the drink specialty book as a personal fan took over my picture takin', but I did manage to catch a pic' of a much need to-make-ASAP menu item the bar we met up in was offering!... We had already eaten so this was way-too-much for almost 9pm, but perhaps we'll be back soon! ;)

Seriously! How unbelievably good does this sound?!

Nonetheless, we were there for the much talked about brewskies :)

The night followed us the beautiful Rathskeller's Biergarten, which naturally began raining about ~5 minutes after getting our drinks..... So a mash-pit to the the inside began as we sipped, talked, dried off, etc.

I missed him from the day he moved away from the day he last visited... and then some! Alex and I are not bar hoppin' kinda peeps, just you're old married couple stuck in their 20's but for the one and only BFF, we made an exception :)

So, while blogging has been largely ignored as I've been seeing more of openly scary wires & delivery/repair-men... Cooking has been condensed to take out, smoothies, take out, salad, take out, PBJ's, and did I mention take out?! Such a horribly bad combo mixed with the post-vacation hopes to eat light and de-combust before I blow into a tiny million pieces.

But lookie what finally arrived just before I went out of my mind was gettin' antsy for an actual home COOKED meal...

Ain't she perdy?!

And WOOOOOOT for fresh veggies from the garden!

... And to be used in just a bit! Two thumbs up!

Let's get cookin' peeps!... but before that, let me share our last meal made with our eye-blinding yellow stove!

Four Cheese Pasta
Serves 4-6
Adapted from Iowa Girl Eats

In the line up for the Homemade Marinara!

1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 minced yellow onion, small-medium sized
2-3 teaspoons minced garlic

1 celery stalk, finely chopped
1 small carrot, finely chopped
1/2 green onion, finely chopped
1/2 red onion, finely chopped
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 dried bay leaf

Coach's Orders!

1. Heat the oil on medium to medium/high heat, and chop the veggies while waiting for oil to heat up.

2. Add the diced onions and minced garlic and sauté until onions are translucent, about 4-6 minutes (again, this stove had a total mind of its own!)

3. Be sure to not burn the garlic, so once onions and garlic are beginning to look cooked, add celery, carrots, and peppers.

4. Once the veggies are tender, add the "beef" grounds and mix with the flava's of the veggies to start moldin' all the flava's together.  Stir for and cook for about 4-5 minutes. Turn down the heat if necessary. 

4. To round' out the sauce, add the crushed tomatoes and spices, then stir to combine.  Turn down the heat to low and simmer uncovered for 30-60 minutes.  If you want a thicker sauce, roughly chop the veggies, and a thinner sauce, mince the veggies to get a more consistent sauce.  I like mine a bit choppy :)

Feel free to make the sauce ahead o' time or even in a slow cooker, then re-heat when you're ready to prep this beauty of a dish! So let's get rollin'...

In the order for the Four Cheese Pasta!
2 cups water
1 teaspoon basil
1/2 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon oregano
8-12 ounces penne (or short length pasta)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese, divided
2 Tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

2 Tablespoons shredded romano cheese

Coach's Orders!

1. In the same medium/large sized skillet you made/heated up the homemade marinara sauce, add the 2 cups water and bring a subtle boil. 

2. Once the sauce is bubblin', add the uncooked pasta and stir to combine and cook until al dente.  Make sure to not overcook!

CONFESSION: I am horribly guilty of doing this all too often... WHOOPS!

3. When the pasta is plump and al dente, turn off heat and add THEE CHEEEEEEESES!

Don't worry if your mourth starts watering here, it's totally natural! ;)

4. Stir em' all up together with the pasta/marinara mix and then sprinkle with mozzarella cheese on top and prop it under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.... and get-your-forks-ready!

I chose to top mine with some fresh basil & a wee-bit extra ricotta and let's dig in ma' friends!

Even meat-eating mouth's are watering, aren't cha'?!... Don't be shy!

Love the very subtle crunch of the pasta from the last minute broil and the variety of cheeses in this dish! Seconds pah-please!

 Glad we left the hated beloved yellow stove with a DELISH dish to remember it... with it's barely 2 out of 4 workin' burners....

Sorry yellow stove, you are not missed, just gotta' be honest now folks!

Enjoy ma' friends... and why yes, I'm still off to watch more Gilmore Girls cause' I'm an odd creature of habit that falls back of my regular shows in the interim waitin' for my new shows to come back COUGH: Mad Men/Law & Order: SVU/Parenthood: COUGH!

Perhaps some of those are just as shameful, but what can I say, I love what I love! No shame ;)

PS: Don't forget to enter my Quorn giveaway while it lasts and your chance to make this dish for almost free! FTW!


  1. Ooh, pasta with a good, chunky sauce is pretty much my favorite dinner!

    1. Mine too! Wish I could have photographed it in light, but we ate 99% of it... WHOOPS! ;) I'll have to get some photog tips from you -- such a beautiful site you have!