Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Friends are like penne from Heaven

Friends are incredible gifts, and I have been blessed with many over the years. Fortunately for me, most of these friends are incredible cooks. Put us in the same room, and we'll soon be talking about food. We even talk on the phone before we get together about the food we are going to eat when we get together. We love to prepare and eat food!

After one of our recent food conversations, I got an idea. Wouldn't it be fun to spotlight guest chefs on this blog? Most of my girlfriends know more about cooking than I do so why not share their experience and knowledge with my dear readers so we all can benefit from each other.

Today’s recipe is from a friend I played soccer with 25 years ago. Laurie and I were on a women’s team called the Goal Diggers. I was one of the worst players on the team, Laurie was one of the best. She has carried her soccer skills into the kitchen. Instead of dribbling soccer balls, she’s drizzling olive oil, and a whole lot more.

This meaty penne pasta dish is a family recipe that Laurie has tweaked in her own stylish way. Like many great cooks, she doesn’t often use printed recipes. The knowledge is in her blood and she goes by instinct. These measurements are approximate, so feel free to increase or reduce the ingredients to your liking.


2 -28 oz. cans Tomato Sauce
½ cup Red Wine
1 lb. Ground Beef
1 lb. Ground Italian Sausage
3 Tbsp olive oil
1 medium White Onion
4 cloves Garlic
Fresh Rosemary Sprig
Fresh Oregano Sprigs
1 lb. Penne pasta

Brown beef and sausage in a frying pan, drain fat, and set aside.

Mince onion finely in food processor

Saute minced onion and chopped garlic in olive oil. Once onion is translucent, add tomato sauce, stir to mix. Add desired amount of red wine, salt and pepper. Add browned beef and sausage. Add whole sprigs of rosemary and oregano. Cook on low heat for 2-3 hours. Sauce always tastes better heated up so I usually prepare the night before, let cool in fridge overnight, then put back on the stove the next day. Prepare penne pasta al dente. Before mixing sauce with pasta, pull out the herb sprigs.

Serves a crowd.


  1. This looks great and the recipe seems easy. Thanks for the suggestion.

  2. penne from heaven, you're too funny!

  3. I also love the headline on this one. CaliCook, you are so talented. That is brilliant, that line, "penne from Heaven."

  4. I love pasta as the weather starts to cool. It's so hardy, and yet easy to prepare. I have to try this version of a great standby -- penne.