Rigate with Black Pepper Meat Sauce

After making hamburgers for a number of days in a row you are bound to get tired of them. However, I did not run out of ground beef before I ran out of desire for hamburgers so I was left with a considerable amount of ground chuck in my fridge. What do with it? Meat sauce with pasta was the first thing that came to mind.

Unlike most of the world, I do not like tomatoes. I find their taste to be off-putting, I abhor the squishy texture that squirts out seeds, and to top it all off they hurt my stomach. It took me a long time to get used to eating ground beef, never enjoying the texture until the last couple of years. I never get near a bolognese sauce, a meat lasagna, or spaghetti with meat balls. I didn’t just want to cook ground beef and eat it with pasta. That would be boring, bland, uninspiring.

What I did decide to do was a non-tomato based meat sauce with asparagus and penne rigate. I cooked the meat in some olive oil, though I realized later that was unnecessary since the meat had plenty of fat to keep it from sticking too much to the pan and the sauce turned out a little greasy, added salt, worcestshire sauce, chili powder, and a ton of black pepper. Once the meat was browned, I added cut up of asparagus, about four or five fat stalks and cooked until the asparagus was tender.

I added this to the top of the penne rigate which was an excellent conduit for the sauce. The sauce was a full-flavored punch of peppery, salty, meaty goodness and the asparagus was a crisp, tender addition. I would add more asparagus next time and maybe spinach, and remove the olive oil.


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