After Movie Dinner

Inspiration: I needed a dish that required only reheating at 9:30pm after seeing the movie “Waitress”. I had some ricotta in the refrigerator that was about to expire and some ground beef in the freezer from a prior dinner that I wanted to use up. I also had some multi-grain penne — so what recipe would work for these ingredients?


Research:
I first looked at Foodnetwork.com and considered a recipe by Giada de Laurentis but didn’t want to fry a bunch of meatballs. So I then went to Epicurious but found no inspiration. I opened Dashboard on my Mac and typed “Pasta Ricotta Beef” into Google since those were the ingredients I had to work with. The Google search revealed this recipe at Cooks.com which I adapted.

Shopping: Ingredients came from Trader Joe’s, Safeway and a little market next to where I had my nails done earlier in the afternoon which had some really good mozzarella.

Amendments: The recipe called for canned tomatoes and I substituted fresh hot house tomatoes. The salad recipe I used was in Food and Wine. It called for spinach, plums, basil with a dressing of orange and lemon zests, juices, etc. I made the dressing exactly but had spring greens and apricots so used those instead of spinach and plums. It was great!

Ambiance: We listened to Tangents Radio. Host Dore Stein played sensual acoustic Mediterranean music.

Prep Time: 1+ hours
Cooking Time: 13 minutes
Cost: about $20
Wine: Ravenswood Old Vine Zinfandel from Lodi 2004 $9.99 (coincidentally, this wine is featured in the June issue of Gourmet as a recommended wine)

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