This office move of going through everything after being in business for 38 years has been massive, to say the least. What a tumult of emotions I have been through! I found files where I had saved many keepsakes and thank you notes. I had no idea I had entertained so many people for lunch over the years, especially when we had our previous office for ten years, where we had a large terrace with a Hudson River view.
It was amazing to me that so many people wrote about it! Gathering around a table with food is what people remember. And the wine parties. And the birthday cakes. But after about 7 or 8 years there, the buildings started growing up all around, leaving us just a sliver of a river to see and creating a wind tunnel down 38th Street to make it not so nice anymore.
Things change so. They can’t stay the same. And I feel a little like an outsider looking in now when I leave my home office for a meeting. Like I’m not part of the in-crowd work force anymore. Like I’m sneaking around.
My husband wanted to operate like this – virtually from the cloud – five years ago, but I resisted. Now, I pretty much like it. I’ll certainly save on make-up and even soap if I’m not careful because it is easy to roll from bed to desk and back again. But no, we must have some rules and we do have our weekly two meetings with our team members here.
Going through everything has sort made me feel like I’ve died already. You see, I saved all those things, thinking I would go through them right before I died. So I did it now. My friend Margaret said she still wouldn’t have thrown them away but I wanted to save that task from my boys. Lord knows I did it enough with my parents and then with Steve’s. I’m still washing his mother’s tablecloths and napkins from when she passed last May.
So needless to say, our meals have had to be super quick and easy for the weary hungry souls we’ve been. Once again, I have relied on some all natural, very flavorful sweet Italian sausage to give us the boost of flavor you can easily count on, as I did with the one-sheet-pan meal of sausage, potatoes and arugula.
I used a lot of red wine in this sauce, because I had an open bottle on the counter just begging to be put to use and I am in a “get rid of things” kind of mode. And adding the little bit of cream at the end smoothed out the ragged edges of the sauce, along with our emotions.
Make and serve with LOVE!
QUICK PASTA WITH SWEET SAUSAGE BOLOGNESE –serves 5 – 6
2 Tbs. coconut oil (better brain food!)
2 shallots, minced
1 lb. all natural sweet Italian sausages, meat removed from casings
1 28 oz. can of whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
¾ cup dry red wine
1 ½ tsp. dried Greek oregano
¼ tsp. red chili flakes
Salt to taste – French Grey or Kosher
Pepper – fresh ground to taste
2 Tbs. heavy cream
1 lb. good quality dried pasta (I used Sfoglini from our box!)
Coarse sea salt
Put a large pot of cold water on to boil for your pasta.
Warm the coconut oil over low heat. Add minced shallots and cover to let them sweat and sweeten for 10 minutes.
Uncover and raise heat to medium and add the sausage meat, breaking it up into small pieces, tossing it to brown all over. Once browned, add the tomatoes and their juice to the sausage and shallots, crushing the tomatoes with your hands as you’re adding them. Turn heat to medium-high to bring the sauce to brisk simmer/low boil. Add the wine, oregano, chili flakes and salt and pepper to taste. Stir sauce every so often and keep the brisk simmer/low boil going, along with the stirring. The sauce needs to thicken quite a bit.
When the pasta water comes to a boil, add enough coarse sea salt to make it taste like the ocean. Add your pasta and check at 2 minutes less than the least amount of time they tell you on the package. When pasta is al dente, save some pasta water and drain the pasta.
Your sauce should be thickened by now. Remove from heat and stir in 2 Tbs. of heavy cream. Combine the sauce with the pasta in a warm wide bowl. Add 1 Tbs. pasta water, to help the sauce cling better to the noodles. Toss and serve!
You could add grated cheese but I think it’s not necessary. This dish, with the wine and cream, is nice and rich just by itself. Enjoy!!!
If there are only two of you eating, cook only 8 oz. of pasta and use only half of the sauce. You could then freeze the sauce for another meal later in the month or refrigerate for up to 5 days and cook your pasta fresh again. Always better to have fresh pasta than to rewarm it.