In chilly weather (well, really, in any weather) one of our favorite meals is spaghetti with meat sauce. Jeannene had been hinting that she would very much like to arrive home someday soon and discover that I had made it. With the snow we've been getting, a cozy plate of spaghetti seemed like just the thing to warm us. I am a very lazy spaghetti maker, nearly always just doctoring up a jar of sauce from the grocery. My current favorite is Newman's Own Sockerooni Sauce. However, what we had on hand was a jar of Bertolli Tomato & Basil Sauce Jeannene picked up a couple weeks ago because she is not comfortable without at least a jar or two of spaghetti sauce in the house & it was on sale.
My usual doctoring mostly consists of adding some extra oregano and basil, along with some parmesan cheese. The other night, though, I decided to get a little more creative. I splashed in a little merlot and added Italian seasoning, basil, fennel seeds, and parm and let it bubble awhile before we ate. Jeannene was just delighted with this version and thought the 96% lean ground beef I used was mixed with Italian sausage, thanks to the fennel seeds.
We were too cold to eat salad, so I roasted some Michigan-grown Lacinato kale we got at the farmer's market the other day. To do this, I tossed it with a little olive oil, salt, & pepper before sticking it in a pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 14 minutes. It was lovely and crispy when it came out of the oven! We also had some Pugliese bread from the grocery. If you have a Kroger near you and you see this bread in their bakery, give it a try. We love it!