Sometimes I have to take a step and just be thankful for the lovely little French family I somehow got lucky enough to marry into.
We have been relocating from Paris to London for what feels like an eternity (okay, it’s only been about 5 weeks of back-and-forths, and there are much worse problems to deal with…). Last week, we had to return to Paris for yet another formality: my French nationality ceremony. Since I also need to be in Paris for work next week, here we are: stuck in town for almost a week! Tough life, I know – forced to hang out in Paris for a week…
Jonathan’s parents living only an hour south of Paris, we decided to pay them a visit. Imagine the nicest, cutest and most welcoming parents-in-law, and you have my in-laws! Any trip to see them usually involves eating some amazing food, good times and some even better wine. As I sit here looking through the window at the Loing river, sipping a glass of champagne waiting for Jonathan to finish making lunch, I can’t help but just feel one thing: happy.
Jonathan and Jonathan Senior (i.e., Jean-Luc) have been arguing over the merits of garlic powder versus fresh garlic, and whether Spaghetti n5 or n7 is best for a perfect bolognaise. As I’m distracted by these twos’ kitchen musings, the scent of simmering onions in olive oil perfumes the house. It’s also a nice little revenge as J.L. is changing the recipe around, changing the pots around, adding things like white wine and other spices, and generally acting just like Jonathan when I’m cooking.
So while these two go at it, I’ve decided to type up J’s recipe — it’s super easy, and is one of our family favorites. When I’m working late and starving, this is usually what I request that Hubby have waiting for me when I get home.
- 2 8- oz cans of whole or crushed tomatoes
- 2 large cloves of garlic, minced/finely chopped
- ½ cup diced onion
- ½ cup of parmesean cheese
- 1 teaspoon of oregano
- 4 teaspoons olive oil
- 500 grams of fresh ground beef
- 200 grams of n7 spaghetti
- 2 whole mini cayenne peppers
- ½ cup chopped fresh basil (optional for garnish)
- Place 2 teaspoons of olive oil in a non-stick pan with the diced onion over a medium heat, until onions are cooked through and slightly browned.
- Next, turn the heat up high and add the ground beef until browned. Turn the heat back down to medium and add the minced garlic, stirring frequently.
- Add the remaining spices (including the cayenne peppers, whole) and oil, stirring for about a minute.
- Next, add in the canned tomatoes and let simmer for about 10 minutes before adding in the fresh parmesean.
- While your sauce is simmering, bring a bit pot of water to boil and cook your noodles until they’re al dente (for me, this is usually 1 minute less than the indicated cooking time).
- Drain your pasta, return to the pot and toss in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to make sure the noodles are evenly coated.
- Plate up your noodles, then top with the bolognese sauce, fresh basil and a dash of olive oil & fresh ground black pepper.