High Cooking: Pasta with Meat Sauce

One activity I greatly enjoy is cooking. I’ve been inventing my own recipes since I was about six years old, and in my teens I seriously considered becoming a chef. I ultimately decided against it, because cheffing is physically demanding and I like sitting around. That’s one reason I’m a computer programmer and freelance writer. I still cook a lot, though, and I wanted to do something fun with it.

Enter legal marijuana. In 2012, with my help, Washington state voted to legalize recreational marijuana. At the time I didn’t plan to use it myself; I was just a libertarian who thought it was ridiculous that the government would criminalize the use of a plant. But when my tiny town opened the first municipally-owned marijuana store in the country, I tried it. I liked it.

So now I occasionally partake of the devil’s lettuce and then create delicious food while high. During one of my cooking sessions, I had an idea: why not share my recipes, along with useful information such as cost, calorie content, and a bunch of weird jokes?

I’m starting the High Cooking with Mason Lynch series here on my blog, but if there’s enough interest I may turn it into a YouTube cooking show. Let me know what you think.

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Our first recipe is a simple dish of pasta with meat sauce. I like making my own sauce because it tastes so much better than whatever cheap stuff I can find at the gas station, which is the only source of groceries in my tiny town. I also make enough food for several meals at a time, so for the next few days I can simply pop a bowl of pasta in the microwave and experience all the wonderful flavor with no effort.

Here’s the list of ingredients you’ll need:

  • 1 pound of pasta
  • 1 pound of animal flesh (I used 93% lean ground beef)
  • 1 sweet onion
  • 8 ounces of sliced mushrooms
  • 2 cans of diced tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt and other seasonings
  • CHEESE!
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I like to organize my ingredients by type. In fact, I like to organize everything.

First, start a pot of water for the pasta and dice the onion. Melt two tablespoons of butter in a skillet, and get out another pan for the meat.

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I dice my onion very small using a large and extremely sharp knife.

Saute the onion for a couple minutes and then add the mushrooms. Cook the meat separately. I like to season my meat with salt, pepper, sage, garlic powder, and cayenne pepper. There are many other possibilities as well, so get wacky and figure out what you like. Some interesting seasonings you might try are cumin, coriander, cardamom, mustard seed, nutmeg, and rosemary.

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I forgot the basil when I took the first picture, but it’s there now.

When the mushrooms are beginning to soften, add the tomatoes. To season the sauce, I used thyme, basil, oregano, pepper, and garlic powder. Then I put away all the ingredients I was done with, because that’s how I roll.

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I love it when a meal comes together. (Apologies for the gross food shrapnel and grease all over the stove.)

Let the sauce simmer on low heat for at least five minutes after it heats up to let the flavors mix together, then add the meat. Drain the noodles and you’re done!

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I like to wash dishes when they’re no longer needed, as part of the cooking process. At this point the rest of the kitchen looks exactly like it did when I started.

Including five ounces of cheese, this recipe has a total of about 3300 calories. For me, it makes five decent lunches. The cost is around $11, which works out to $2.20 and 660 calories per serving…not bad for something so delicious! Leaving out the meat would cut the cost in half and remove 700 calories, which would give you four 650 calorie servings at $1.37 each.

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I do have a bit of a cheese problem, but the sauce is tasty enough you could just as well go without the extra calories.

 

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