I was honoured and so very excited when my beautiful friend Haidee accepted my invitation to spend her birthday with me! I am always so happy to be in Haidee's company, and for her to spend one of her personal holidays with me - well, I felt very loved and totally overjoyed. I had such a great evening with Haidee, one of the best of my life. We made a huge mess (which Haidee carefully documented, yikes, and is presented for your viewing pleasure/horror above!) and ate a ton. At the gym that day, Haidee had been informed that she might not be making "gains" because she wasn't eating enough. I'd like to say that Haidee ate everything pictured above, and we'll attribute the 10 lb personal record (PR!) on her back squats the next morning to the over-fueling! Thank you so much for the photo documentation Haidee. I am so happy to know you, and so happy that you were born - Happy Birthday!
As a belated celebration of Haidee, for the rest of the week I'm going to post the recipes that made up her birthday menu. First up, we have a great meal to help you use up that last bit of red wine or give you an excuse to open a new bottle. This comes together so painlessly, and is easy to cook with company or throw together half an hour before their arrival and have simmering and smelling fantastic; you can host(ess) while you add the last bit of wine and herbs to impress. Yum.
Spaghetti squash with ground beef tarragon marinara
- 1 large spaghetti squash
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
- 1/2 large yellow onion, sliced
- 1 T sea salt
- 1/2 T black pepper
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/2 cup red wine; I like a sort of smoky red wine with this, maybe a merlot or baco noir
- 6 oz small can tomato paste
- 2 large tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 cup fresh or frozen tarragon leaves, roughly torn into pieces
- Optional: 2-4 T Herbes de Provence, 1 T red pepper flakes
- Puncture the squash a few times with a sharp knife and microwave on high for 10-15 minutes, until slightly soft. While squash is cooking;
- Heat a saucepan over medium high heat and chopped garlic; once it starts browning add a few generous tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, then the sliced onion.
- Cook onion until translucent, then add salt, pepper, optional spices. If adding spices, wait until fragrant, then;
- Add ground beef and cook until browned.
- Pour in enough red wine to coat bottom of pan, then add tomato paste and diced tomatoes and allow to reduce with the pan covered for 5-10 minutes.
- Add more red wine until sauce is a consistency you like; at the end of cooking, add the tarragon leaves.
- Cut spaghetti squash in half; remove seeds and shred squash.
- Serve sauce over squash; eat!