Tonight, in Tokyo living a never-ending Travelife, a couple of friends and I were supposed to have dinner out.
We were supposed to go to one of my favorite comfort food joints, which is a shabu-shabu place not too far away.
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ACCIDENT ON THE HIGHWAY
But I was out the whole day in the burbs, and there was a bit of traffic on the highway coming back.
On the opposite lane was a terrible accident, unfortunately. We missed it so I don't know the details, but everyone on that road that afternoon saw an SUV that had its front end totaled.
Everyone on our lane slowed down to gasp and gape -- thus, the traffic jam.
CHANGE OF HEART
I was completely exhausted from driving back from the burbs, and suddenly I didn't feel like going to a restaurant.
So instead I called everyone and invited them to come over to my house.
Somehow, making dinner didn't seem as exhausting as having to get back into my car, trying to find parking, and then eating out in a popular and crowded restaurant.
WHAT'S FOR DINNER?
The trouble was, I hadn't done any shopping for dinner.
So it was a rather brave attempt on my part to entertain my friends on absolutely nothing.
I figured that if I couldn't whip up something for dinner, I could always phone for delivery sushi or delivery anything.
However, if there is one thing I can do very well, it's practically any kind of pasta.
Maybe it's because of all the time I used to spend in Italy -- there was a time I would spend practically every summer somewhere in Italy -- and this amuses and amazes my friends no end, because I really can whip up a very delicious pasta with 20 minutes and a couple of things in the fridge.
I don't think I've ever made a bad pasta yet.
WAGYU HAMBURGERS IN THE FRIDGE
These could be the basics for a promising bolognese sauce, I thought to myself.
So I chopped the wagyu hamburgers and the tomatoes up, and then also chopped up lots of garlic, onions, fresh herbs and a hot pepper.
I even found a large piece of broccoli, which I chopped up as well.
SECRETS TO MY SUCCESS
It's not that difficult to make a success of this, frankly, as long as you have very good olive oil, a couple of very tasty tomatoes and some tomato paste.
You also need a good bottle of Italian wine.
I usually open a bottle and pour half into the sauce, and drink the other half.
It also helped, of course, that I used excellent wagyu hamburger meat in it.
Plus, I just happened to have some excellent artisanale olive oil on hand, with a pepper inside -- perfect for making a spicy sauce.
SLOW AND DOUBLE SIMMERING
The other secret of the sauce is in the simmering.
I simmered it twice with red wine and then I put the noodles into the sauce pan very al dente so that I could finish the cooking of the noodles in the pan.
This way, too, the noodles could absorb more of the sauce.
It was a pretty fantastic pasta, if I have to say so myself.
Even I ate way more than I should have, on just another nice summer evening in Tokyo, living a never-ending and never-endingly eventful Travelife.
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