07 February 2011

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)

•  •  •  •

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!)


  1. I love, love, LOVE this outfit! Love it. I think maybe gray tights would look nice, too. I wonder if a contrasting color would also work, like a blue or yellow? That might be too much with the bright red in the top though.

    I think you look lovely!

  2. I just bought this skirt and was thinking of how to wear it myself this week! I just love it though. And that top knocks it out of the park! From my persepective, I think this whole ensemble looks great!

  3. love that blouse!!!! i may have to go hunt it down at H&M!

  4. That is a gorgeous top! And dinner looks awesome.

    Melanie@Unravelled Threads
    Follow @UnraveldThreads on twitter!

  5. You put a big smile on my face when I saw you Lisa. I'm wondering how grey tights and red pumps would look. And I love your necklace. It's beautiful. Perfect choice. Honestly, it looks great as is. I wouldn't change a thing. Have a spectacular day!

  6. I actually love this look as is! The red top adds that punch of color and the tights and shoes don't compete with it. Love your necklace too.

  7. This outfit is so pretty! This silhouette works PERFECTLY on you!

  8. Red is def your color. And polka dots too!?! I'm sold! I have that skirt in a lighter grey (from Anthro) and I'll have to try it with a red top. I like this look . . . playful and professional. :-)
    p/s thanks 4 the recipe. I'm a Giada fan too. And a FOOD TV junkie. Have you watched Top Chef on Bravo?

  9. What a fun and whimsical top! I love how you've paired it with the more formal pencil skirt. I like how you've styled it here. Do you think dark gray tights would work?

  10. Oh I just *love* that top! So sweet and flirty with the structured pencil skirt.

  11. That blouse is to die for! What a cute look on you!

  12. Oh one of my favorite recipes is a Giada one and it's VERY time consuming but delicious.

    Love the blouse!

  13. Love the polka dots.
    I second the suggestion of grey tights, or blue ones.

  14. I think the whole outfit looks great but I totally understand feeling like something is a little off. That recipe looks so good and I am craving some hearty food right now!

  15. I think the whole outfit looks stellar from head to toe! I love the vivid blouse, it's so cute on you! I could so go for a big ole bowl of noodles- yum!

  16. I know that feeling and it irks me. Although you look fabulous, and that blouse is amazing!

    I've never done pasta with braised meats. It does have a very fusion twist to it, which I must try!

  17. I love the outfit! But, if you're looking for something different, you could always go with lighter colored tights, or maybe more patterned/less opaque ones.

  18. You look awesome in this look! That polka-dot top is perfection on you! I am still trying to decide if I NEED that skirt...it was on my wish list at one point and I keep going back and forth. You look great in it! Maybe pair it with some higher heels? I think it looks fine the way it is though!

    ANd wow, that dinner looks AMAZING!!! Thanks for the recipe!

  19. Thanks for your feedback, ladies! My initial thought was that this outfit would be grand sans tights and with some killer heels, but it is oh so cold still!

    Now being stuck with tights, my color collection is sorely lacking ... and once you start with dark tights, you almost have to go with dark shoes ...

    Lisa - BIG Top Chef fan here - go Dale! And HUGE Anthony Bourdain fan too! If it has to do with cooking and is on TV, I've probably seen it at least once!

    Summerilla - now if I could just hire Giada to cook for me every day, that'd be super-awesome ...

    triciathomas - winter just makes me hungry! I love being able to eat what I want and them throwing a big ole sweater over myself, haha!

    devishly pleasurable - there's a lot of browning the meat and then shredding the meat - stuff I'm not typically used to having to do while cooking, but the results are worth it!

    Jenni - if you end up deciding on the skirt, I'd recommend trying your regular size, plus one down. I ended up going one down for my skirt and it fits me like a glove! (Though I've relegated myself to only one serving of pasta for dinner now ...)

  20. Love your outfit today! The skirt is fabulous and I love the necklace. As others have mentioned, I think gray tights may be worth a try (although I really like your outfit as is).

    Thanks for the recipe! It looks amazing.

  21. I don't know, I really like this outfit and think that the blouse is definitely the focal point and don't even notice anything wrong with the tights. Probably when you wear this ensemble without tights you'll feel better in it. And I'm probably not the only one that wants to come to your house for dinner :)

  22. ooooh i know what you mean about something not being quite right... im planning an outfit to wear later this week... and i have to wear tights cause its cold, but it just looks so much better without them! argh!

    and ps. that food looks freaking delicious!! YUM!

  23. I think the entire outfit is fab!

  24. Absolutely LOVE the polka dot top!! I always see black/white or navy/white polka dot color combos, but the red is fabulous!

  25. I love your outfit, it's darling! That skirt is so cute. I think I would add a pop of color with the shoe. You could do a red maybe just to keep it from looking so blah near the bottom. Just a thought!

  26. Loving that top, and the blousy-ness of it with the cute skirt. I agree with some other commenters - maybe a different colored shoe - doesnt have to be anything too crazy, maybe even a light gray?

  27. NO WAY!!! WILD!!!! I LOVE Anthony Bourdain too!!! Andrew Zimmern I watch sometimes but Tony B is def my fav. Plus, I think he is HAWT.

  28. oh, yeah, I'm rooting for Dale too. And another chef I adore is Eric Ripert. He has his own show called Avec Eric and I've tried most of his recipes. Simple yet sooooooooooo delish!!!!

  29. I like it as-is. The focus is on the pretty blouse and ruching on the skirt. The tights & shoes you chose blend in nicely and don't seem like an afterthought or anything.

  30. OMG braised short rib penne???? I am definitely making that! Thanks for the recipe.

  31. Red shoes maybe if you have any?
    I love pasta, I eat tonnes of pasta to fuel my running. But it's only 9.17am and now I'm hungry and longing for pasta and cheese.... oops!

  32. Lisa, i love your outfit, especially the top - it's so cute! I do feel that some of my outfits are "off" - more often that not. I don't ever put these outfits up, because unlike yours, mine are actually "off"! hehe.

  33. anotherfishinthesea - you and me, gal, we're just going to have to wait until spring, I guess!

    Lisa - Eric Ripert has his own show?! Ooh, me likey Eric - he's a good chef buddy of Bourdain's, plus he's easy on the eyes too, haha!

    Louise / Mommyblogger - there's nothing wrong with having dinner for breakfast (cold pizza anyone?)! I think I need some red heels in my life, I only have red flats or sandals!

    Aw, vintageglammz - I've got my share of real OFF outfit days too, and I don't post those either, hehe!


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