This post was originally published March 29th 2012.  I'd say my photographing skills have come some way since then…

The old photo:

Right after college, I moved to Chicago. I rarely cooked for myself (maybe 3 times in a year?) simply because I was lazy and thought cooking took too much effort.  The first real meal I made for myself was a burger that I grilled on my George Foreman Grill and cheesy potatoes from a box. I was so proud of myself I called my sister (whom I often refer to as Betty Crocker) to tell her of my accomplishment. She laughed that this was my idea of a home cooked meal.

Thankfully, I had a good friend, Lindsay, who LOVED to cook and lived nearby. The first meal she ever made for me was Stoup (compliments of Rachael Ray). It is a simple pasta dish (what else) but healthy, and paired with a glass of wine, absolutely satisfying. For years, we would have annual "Stoup" nights. Lindsay would cook and I would eat.  When I moved to LA, I had to learn how to make this "complicated" dish on my own. Turns out, it's not so complicated.  With a few slight modifications, here is one of my ultimate favorite meals.  Lindsay, I hope you're proud.

Serves: 2 w/ leftovers
Cook time according to Rachael: 45 minutes
Cook time according to Rachel: 1 hour (I've made this a lot)
How hard was this for Rachel to make? Lot's of steps, but not hard!

2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil (I use a bit more)
1 carrot peeled, chopped
1 medium yellow skinned onion, chopped
2 smal ribs celery from the heart, chopped
4-5 cloves garlic, chopped
3 cups tomato sauce (22 ounces)                                          
3 cups chicken stock
1lbs ground turkey (pre-seasoned Italian is the BEST!)
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano cheese + more to pass
1/2 cup Italian bread crumbs
1 large egg, beaten
1/2 lbs spaghetti, broken in half
1 handful basil leaves, torn or shredded
1 loaf Italian crusty bread for dunking

Note on veggies: I use more than the directed amount. I don't measure, I just chop (well, J chops) until I get the amount seen below.


Old photos:


Preheat a large soup pot over medium heat. Add extra-virgin olive oil (3ish turns), carrots, onion, celery & garlic. Saute for 5 minutes. Add tomato sauce and chicken stock and cover pot. Turn up heat and bring to a fast boil.    

Old Photos:


While soup comes to a boil, mix the bread crumbs with the beaten egg  and parmesean cheese. Mix in the ground turkey. Roll into 1 1/2-2 inch balls.


Remove lid from soup and slide balls in. Bring back to a boil then stir in spaghetti. Reduce heat and simmer soup 10 minute more until pasta is tender and the balls have cooked through. Stir in basil.

Old Photo:


Serve with cheese & enjoy!

Side Dish:

J and I eat a LOT of bread with oil and balsamic vinegar. It makes the perfect appetizer. This meal was no exception. I poured the vinegar and this happened. A good omen?

Leftovers the next night:
It was only fitting that something not go right. How does THIS happen?????


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