Braised Dots with Penne

You ever have those days when you're 99 percent thrilled with your ensemble but something teeny weeny about it just seems off? That's me today - loving everything from the skirt up, questionable about everything else. The dark tights and shoes don't seem to cut it, but it is still too cold to go sans leg coverings - you gals have any ideas on how I can make this better for next time?

(And I didn't forget about the giveaway - I'll be announcing a winner shortly - thanks so much for all you wonderful ladies who participated!)

Top: H&M dolman polka dot (now in stores - similar style here and here, both in solid)
Skirt: Anthropologie Cartonnier alluring sway (on sale, worn here before - similar here or luxe here)
Belt: J. Crew skinny metallic (similar here)
Necklace: gift from friend
Tights: Anne Klein (similar here)
Shoes: Franco Sarto (similar here)

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BF and I tried out a new recipe from one of my fave Foot Network chefs this weekend, Giada. I'm whole-heartedly recommending this recipe - even though it does take a bit of work - because the BF liked it so much that he said I should blog about it (which is huge for a guy who typically refuses to participate in my blogging in any way!)

4 pounds beef short ribs
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
5 Roma tomatoes, cut into eighths
1 cup red wine, such as Cabernet Sauvignon
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups low-sodium beef broth
1 pound penne pasta
1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley


Place an oven rack in the lower 1/3 of the oven. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Season the ribs with salt and pepper. In a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or ovenproof stock pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. In batches, add the ribs and brown on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the ribs and set aside. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Add the tomatoes, wine and mustard. Bring the mixture to a boil and scrape up the brown bits that cling to the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Return the ribs to the pan. Add the beef broth, cover the pan and place in the oven for 2 1/2 hours until the meat is fork-tender and falls easily from the bone.

Remove the ribs from the cooking liquid. Using a large spoon, remove any excess fat from the surface of the cooking liquid. Using a ladle, transfer the cooking liquid in the bowl of a food processor. Process until the mixture is smooth. Pour the sauce into a saucepan and keep warm over low heat. Remove the meat from the bones. Discard the bones. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into small pieces. Stir the shredded meat into the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain the pasta and place in a large serving bowl. Using a slotted spoon, remove the meat from the sauce and add to the pasta. Pour 1 cup of the sauce over the pasta. Toss well and thin out the pasta with more sauce, if needed. Sprinkle the pasta with Parmesan cheese and chopped parsley before serving.

Lisa's notes: I ended up using a can of whole tomatoes in place of the fresh Roma, nixed the parsley, and in lieu of the wine I didn't have, used half grape juice/half broth as a sub. Also, the recipe aboves makes about 4-6 servings, so I only purchased 2lbs of short ribs and minimized the rest of the ingredients. The sauce (i.e., the blended leftover braising liquid - is killer!)