Saturday, March 30, 2013

Ina Garten's Weeknight Bolognese Sauce

I have my favorite spaghetti sauce but I don't always have a few hours to let it simmer on my stovetop. Thus, when I want a delicious homemade meat sauce on a weeknight without sacrificing taste and flavor, this is my go to recipe (and Darin's favorite spaghetti sauce).

Traditional bolognese sauce includes lots of veggies, but this ones doesn't (though that doesn't mean you can't alter this recipe to your liking). Essentially, you brown the meat, then add ingredients and allow it to simmer. The recipe is finished off by a dash of heavy cream and nutmeg, which brings out a unique richness to this recipe. Another Ina Garten winner.


Topped with some Parmesan cheese


Ingredients:
  • 2 Tbsp good olive oil, plus extra to cook the pasta
  • 1 pound lean ground sirloin (used ground chuck)
  • 4 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano
  • 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/4 cups dry red wine, divided
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 1-1/2 tsp + 1 Tbsp kosher salt, divided
  • 1-1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells
  • 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed (I used a heaping Tbsp of dried basil)
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Directions:
  1. Heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, for 5-7 minutes, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown.
  2. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute.
  3. Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits.
  4. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1-1/2 tsp kosher salt, and pepper, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt, a splash of oil, and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the box.
  6. While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, basil, cream, and the remaining 1/4 cup wine to the sauce and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.  
  7. When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into a large serving bowl.
  8. Add the sauce, cream, and 1/2 cup Parmesan and toss well. Serve hot with Parmesan on the side.

Yield: 4 servings

Source: Adapted from Ina Garten

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