This recipe is very similar to the PW Cooks recipe for Bolognese sauce. The addition of veggies in the sauce creates a colorful and very fresh-tasting dinner. I typically serve this with rigatoni (a family favorite from when our littlest could more easily spear the tubes of pasta as opposed to a strand-like shape). I still haven't figured out why the recipe calls for a cup of milk, but the result is so delicious, I really don't care!
Also included: "Aunt Sue's Chocolate Cake". This recipe is my never-fail chocolate cake recipe and is courtesy of that very handy Brethren cookbook I was telling you about. I'm not sure who Aunt Sue is or even if she's still with us, but I'm sure glad she shared this recipe.
1 lb ground beef
2 medium carrots, pretty finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
5 slices bacon, cut into small pieces
1/2 tsp fresh-ground black pepper
1/4 tsp kosher salt
4 cloves garlic, chopped finely
12 button mushrooms
1 jar pasta sauce (I use Barilla marinara, usually)
2/3 cup dry red wine
1 cup milk
1. In a large stockpot, brown ground beef for 3 minutes on medium heat. Push meat to the outside of the pan, creating a well, and add the carrots, bacon, salt, pepper, and onion, sauteeing for 3 minutes.
2. Add garlic and mushrooms and brown for 2 minutes. Stir all together and add red wine, taking care to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan.
3. Add pasta sauce and stir. Cover the stockpot and simmer on low for 4o minutes.
4. Add milk and recover to simmer for an additional 5-10 minutes.
5. Add desired amount of parmesan cheese and serve with cooked pasta, your choice and shape.
Aunt Sue's Chocolate Cake
1/2 cup cocoa
2 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups water
3/4 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
Mix ingredients and beat for 2 minutes. Bake in a 9x13 pan for 30 minutes or until center springs back up when touched lightly.
Chocolate buttercream frosting
3/4 cup cocoa
4 cups powdered sugar
7 T butter, softened
3 T milk
1 tsp vanilla
[using a hand-mixer] Mix above ingredients until smooth and spreadable, adding more milk or sugar as needed.