After 9 months of working from home, I believe I’ve uncovered all the pros and cons of not going to an office everyday and always being in the same room as your latest work project.
The cons are fairly limited (wishing people would call instead of email for one-off questions, being the only one of the phone for brainstorming sessions, losing my fashion edge to yoga pants…). The pros, on the other hand, continue to expand. I’ve discovered that my brain works better from 7am – 10am than it ever could after 4pm. Also, work drama for me is often caused by a temporarily slow Internet connection. However, the best part of working from home has to be that I have the time, opportunity and energy to do more cooking.
Over the past several months I’ve been able to prepare soups, beans, and bread from scratch during the week — something that is only possible because my ‘lunch break’ can occur whenever I need it to be. After several round of beans I realized that I could (and should) do more slow-cooked dishes since I can keep my eye on the oven/stove all day.
A few weeks ago, a good friend and fellow remote office worker shared with me her basic recipe for pasta sauce she liked making from scratch. She made it sound simple enough that I was eager to try it. My first attempt went well since I was able to simmer the sauce for several hours before serving, adjusting the seasoning as needed. Round two was even better as I refined the recipe and added veggie sausage to create a vegetarian bolognese that could fool some meat eaters (according to my Jeffery).
I first browned the ‘meat’ in my dutch oven and set aside. From there I sautéed the garlic and onions in olive oil, deglazing the pan with a little wine. Next, two cans of Italian style whole peeled tomatoes, tomato paste and a variety of dried Italian seasonings. As the sauce thickened, I tasted and adjusted seasoning. Towards the end I incorporated the ‘sausage’ into the sauce and added some vegetable stock to thin the sauce to the right consistency.
I used about 3/4 of the sauce for dinner that night and saved the rest. Below are some photos of the leftover sauce and the delicious cheese and rigatoni dish.