I like to make Bob a nice dinner for Valentine’s Day, or at least a chocolately dessert.
Since V Day was Thursday, and Thursday night is usually my most tired night of the week, I made him his nice dinner last night.
At some point this week I was following some link rabbit hole and found Marcella Hazan’s bolognese recipe. Cook’s Illustrated also had an Italian Meat sauce recipe this month so I already had it on the brain and a hearty meaty dinner sounded good.
When I make something with ground meat I use turkey, but it was Marcella and it was for Bob, so I went for the ground beef. I’m sure the last time I purchased ground beef was the 80’s. I had the time so it cooked on the stove all afternoon and smelled fabulous and Bob was thrilled when he came through the door.
When he got home I was wrangling the pepperoni rolls and struggling a little because the dough was sticky (explanation below) and he saw what was going on and said, “You’re making those pepperoni things! I’ll leave you alone.”
I didn’t take the recipe with me to the store and on my list I wrote “frozen dough” so when faced with a freezer full of frozen dough product, I had no idea what to buy. I knew orange rolls wasn’t right. I also bought salami because I went to Trader Joes first and they had about 9 kinds of salami and the only pepperoni was the thin sliced kind you put on pizza and I didn’t want that. Also, couldn’t find provolone in a lump, only thinly sliced so I bought mozzarella. I’m not sure whether I’m a brilliant problem solver or really lame at following directions.
When I got home I made the Cook’s Illustrated master recipe for pizza dough and after the rise I punched it down, cut it in half and put half in a ziplock bag and threw in the freezer. I cut the other half into 8 pieces and flattened them out. I panicked a little because it was so sticky but at this point, I was in the determined phase of my baking project so I kept at it. I put my hunks of salami and grated cheese on my flattened dough, made a pouch and doused the lump with melted butter and garlic. They took forever to get golden brown so I didn’t take them out of the oven until 2 minutes before we were going to eat. I stuck them outside in the shop to help them cool off a bit.
Meanwhile, we hoovered our bolognese with Trader Joe’s pasta because I wasn’t in the mood to tackle homemade pasta. I also made salad even though I didn’t feel like it. We were having so much meat product, I felt some green was essential.
I brought the rolls back in and I don’t think I can accurately convey how mindbendingly yummy these are. Warm squishy bread, meat and cheese with a buttery-garlic flavor. I was sad I’d already eaten so much of the other stuff because I wanted to eat all of them. Bob reheated some for breakfast and said they were even better today. I know what I’m having for lunch.
I’d also made the flourless chocolate cake on Amy’s site but I had to bail on the raspberry sauce because when I got home I learned I was mistaken and we didn’t have 6 giant bags of raspberries in the freezer, we had 6 giant bags of strawberries. Strawberry sauce didn’t sound right. I’d also forgotten to put whipped cream on the grocery list so we didn’t have that to fall back on. It was really delicious by itself so no worries there.
Spectacular dinner. My husband was a happy man. And for me, I ordered a big girl camera yesterday.
Updated to add: This is what Bob did after dinner last night. The gift is, he went without me. He knew I would hate it. He said, “There were a lot of bored girlfriends sitting around me.” What a prince.