Ragu w/Kale, Sweet Potato, and Beet Salad

Ragu (w/5 italian sausages)

Last night was a productive, OCD night. I ended up making ragu, salad, roasted vegetables, meatloaf, and barbacoa from 4pm-11pm. I get into this trance of being in the kitchen, processing a whole bunch of ingredients and turning them into meals. I usually end up making about a weeks’ worth of food, if not more. It’s kind of crazy. And I can’t stop. By the end, I’m like, “where did the day go? Why am I so tired?” Oh yeah, because I forget to take breaks, eat, and do anything else but stand on my feet and make food… The life of a bum! :T

Yesterday I met up with one of my friend’s who knows just about everyone — everywhere she goes. We went to Tartine bakery for my first time ever and it definitely lives up to the hype. I’ve never had a flakier croissant than the one I had there. I’ve also never tried morning buns before and I am now going to be looking for them where ever I go! A hint of orange zest and faint taste of cinnamon — more delicious than a cinnamon roll (which usually ends up being too sweet and sugary for my taste buds). After chatting and devouring our food, my friend ran into the owner of Anna’s Daughters’ Rye Bread. We chatted awhile longer and she gave us two nice loaves to take home. Funny, I did my internship at the kitchen in which she bakes at but did not run into her the entire 6 months I was there. Apparently she only bakes late Sunday evenings and early Monday mornings. Anyway, it was such a treat to try something so pleasantly different from your standard bread. If you like tangy/sour with a bit of a chew in texture, this is your bread! The sunflower and flax seeds add a nice bite as well — soooo addictive!

After Tartine we walked on Valencia from 18th – 24th street and I finally know where all the restaurants that I’ve been wanting to try in the Mission District are. But I digress, we stopped by Luccas Ravioli Co. which, of course, my friend knows one of the guys there. I ended up buying Foccacia bread from Liguria Bakery (love!), 5 different Italian sausages and 1# of fresh tagliatelle. I usually don’t buy pre-made stuff as I like to make everything from scratch, but I gave into the “kid-in-a- candy-store,” googley-eyed me. Except, I am a grown adult in a pasta shop. :X Did I forget to mention, I love pasta? And I am snobby about pasta being fresh because it is just that much better! So any chance I get, I will absolutely buy fresh pasta. Anyway, I decided that I would make my own sauce since buying all the pre-made stuff felt like “cheating” to me.

Many hours later I ended up back at the apartment and whipped up a ragu: carrots, onion, diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, Distraction (a 2010 red wine blend from Pear Valley in Paso Robles), chicken stock, a blend of dried Italian herbs, and ALL the sausages (about 1 1/2 pounds) I bought earlier in the day. The ragu turned out very rich and complex in flavor. I don’t think I will ever make a tomato sauce with straight up ground beef again. It’s all about the sausage! šŸ˜›

5 italian sausages (from Lucca Ravioli Co)

For a side salad, I roasted off some sweet potatoes, yukon gold potatoes, red potatoes, and beets that I purchased from Sunday’s farmer’s market. I couldn’t figure out how I wanted to use them all — so I just ended upĀ pairing the sweet potatoes, beets, and some kale I had in the fridge with cranberries, almonds, and lemon vinaigrette. Sweet potatoes, beets, and kale definitely work. I love the sweetness of the sweet potatoes, crunchiness of the beets (I undercooked them by about 5 minutes), and textural contrast of the kale. It was nearly a full day of cooking and dinner turned outĀ super delicious!

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Roasted sweet potatoes, yukon gold potatoes, red potatoes, and beets

Kale, sweet potato, and beet salad

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