Mystery Basket Dinner

Well here I am at our lake place too wiped out from the week to make a 30-minute trip to the grocery store.  Besides, we’re not out of everything and I did raid my fridge at home before coming… tossing every bit of produce and dairy I could find into a cooler with no real menu in mind.  Just hoping I could cobble together a couple of meals before making the store run.  Even when you’re playing mystery basket dinner, it’s important to make a plan and gather all your ingredients before cooking… just like a real recipe.

Ok here goes… I always seem to have a half package of wonton wrappers left over from a cooking class just hanging around and teasing me into not letting them waste.   So let’s do something with that together with a half pound of ground beef and a link of Italian sausage.   I know, ravioli!  But wait… I don’t have any tomatoes or pasta sauce?  Let’s improvise.   Here’s what I ended up making and it was really, really good!

-Heated a little olive oil and a tablespoon of butter in a saute pan.
-Sauteed some minced shallots (don’t need much for good flavor) until translucent, added some minced garlic and sauteed until fragrant, deglazed with a little red wine that has seen its better days, poured in a little beef broth, sprinkled some Italian seasoning, dumped in a leftover packet of marinara sauce from my son’s fast food mozzarella sticks along with a half can of tomato soup.  Ok that looks like a thin sauce.  I let it reduce down and thicken while I combined the meat mixture.  I took the sausage out of the casing and mixed it with the ground beef, some salt and pepper, an egg, a couple handfuls of arugula, the rest of a container of grated parmesan/romano cheese,  and some Italian seasoning.  Then I got out the wonton wrappers and encased little mounds of meat between them, using a little water to seal the edges.  I cooked them in a saucepot of simmering water and the rest of the beef broth.  They cooked through in 3-4 minutes.  I added them into the pan with the reduced sauce.  Tossed around a little and served with some reserved parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.  Voila!  A savory, delicious pasta dinner with a rather interesting sauce.  btw… I had more meat than wontons so I made up some meatballs, browned in a pan with olive oil, covered and simmered with the rest of the tomato soup until cooked through. My son was delighted to have his ravioli with a side of meatballs!  Let’s just say no leftovers this time!

Sometimes this mystery basket thing just works out.

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