Sometimes we have an accident when making a meal and it turns out to be the best thing, ever. This happened to me some years ago, when I was making a pasta sauce for spaghetti. I had a large container of what I was just sure was spaghetti sauce. I fried up the hamburger meat, added in the usual onion and green pepper, grabbed the sauce to add in and midway through pouring the jar full, I realized it was Salsa. Oh my. I was so upset at that moment, yet it turned out to have excellent flavors.
We all have days when inspiration is low, and nothing seems just right. What to make for dinner? I had a day like that not too long ago, and started frying up hamburger, hoping to come up with some kind of sauce for pasta. I hoped for inspiration to hit along the way, and this was the result. Recalling that day years ago, I decided to again use salsa. I fried the hamburger meat, added in onions and green pepper, some salsa, though not a whole large container. I added a little of this and that, and this is the recipe I created. It is great over spaghetti, ziti, rigatoni or any pasta you desire.
Texicali Meat Sauce
1 pound hamburger meat, fried in a large pan
1 large onion, chopped
1 large green pepper, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups your favorite salsa
1 can tomato paste, 6 ounces
1 cup water
1 small can chopped green chiles
Herbs of choice: chopped fresh basil, rosemary or thyme, use any or a combination
5 - 10 green olives, chopped finely
Brown the meat in a large skillet, breaking up well. As the meat is nearly done, add in the onions and green pepper and toss, cooking for about 5 minutes. Add in all the rest of the ingredients, mix well and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and allow to cook for at least half an hour, until everything is cooked through. Serves about 6 to 8.
How much easier can this be? One time I made this I had pesto on hand. As pesto is nothing more than basil and parsley in olive oil, I used a couple of tablespoons of pesto instead of the other fresh herbs. Once I had only rosemary on hand and that is all that went in. As you can see, I have made it quite a few times recently. It is good over any type of pasta. It could be assembled with a large ziti and topped with cheese and baked until bubbling. It is not a hard and fast recipe. This came completely out of the blue. The idea is to relax and enjoy the flavors. Experiment and see which ones work for you. Use what you have on hand. I do urge you to try out making the sauce with a salsa of choice. It is really quite good.
About The Author
My name is Chris Rawstern and I have been on a cooking and baking journey for 42 years. Many people have asked what A Harmony of Flavors means. Have you ever had a meal where the visual presentation was stunning, the smells were incredible, the taste was so remarkable that you ate slowly savoring every bite, wishing the experience would never end? Then you have experienced what a truly harmonious meal can be like.
My passion is to teach people how to create a Harmony of Flavors with their cooking, and help pass along my love and joy of food, both simple and exotic, plain or fancy. I continue my journey in ethnic and domestic cuisines, trying new things. I would love to hear from you, to help me continue my journey to explore diverse culinary experiences and hopefully to start you on a journey of your own.
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