Monday, September 16, 2013

weeknight bolognese


Comfort food at its finest.

Do you know anyone who would turn down a big bowl of bolognese? I used to.

A few months ago Miles mentioned that he never really liked it growing up. WHAT. As a total pasta freak, I not only couldn't understand or relate to this whatsoever, it legitimately bothered me. (I'm very easy to be married to.)

Determined to change his mind, who else would I turn to but Ina? I'd seen her recipe for "Weeknight Bolognese" for a long time, but had never given it a try. Since any recipe containing the word "weeknight" (i.e. simple and easy!) are ideal for me right now, I decided it was time. And I'm happy to report - Miles not only loved it, he's already requested that I make it again it since!

Task accomplished. Thank you Ina.

Weeknight Bolognese (adapted from Ina Garten)
4-6 servings

you'll need:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 lb. lean ground sirloin
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/4 cups dry red wine, divided
1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 teaspoons salt, plus 1 tablespoon for the pasta water
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 lb orecchiette
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, plus extra for garnish
1/4 cup milk (I used Califia Farms unsweetened plain almond milk)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra shaved for serving

Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat and cook for 5-7 minutes, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper and cook for 1 more minute. Pour 1 cup of wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, and pepper, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Once it's boiling, add 1 tablespoon of salt to the water. Add the pasta and cook according to the package directions.

While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, basil, milk, and the remaining 1/4 cup wine to the sauce and simmer for another 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into a large serving bowl. Add the sauce and 1/2 cup Parmesan and toss well. Divide into bowls and garnish with Parmesan shavings and basil as desired.

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31 comments:

  1. This recipe is a HUGE favorite at our house and I agree there is nothing better than a big bowl of comforting pasta. I think it's all that gorgeous oregano and the tomatoes and the basil. So yummy!!

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    1. So glad you already love this recipe - it was awesome!!

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  2. I haven't tried this Ina recipe yet, but it looks super simple and totally comforting. I love that you used orecchiette too - those shapes are just too cute!

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    1. You would love it, Eva - so classic and definitely comforting!

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  3. Nice job!! This bolognese looks great for any night. Thanks for sharing!!

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  4. I love bolognese sauce but I also used to dislike it! I was a freak about chunks being in my sauce. Haha. Now I love it and this version looks delicious, Marie!

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    1. Haha, glad you've come around on it :) Thanks, Ashley!

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  5. I've pinned this onto my list of recipes to try (yes, that list is getting long but I'll get to it eventually). I'm thinking this is great for a nice Sunday night dinner. I love bolognese but it always conjures up hours and hours of cooking!

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    1. That's why I love this recipe so much - it's so much quicker than most! Let me know if you give it a try!

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    2. Hi Marie - I made the bolognese for dinner tonight! Big hit and so incredibly easy (I could hardly believe it)! My son loved it - even asked for more sauce and he is not a red sauce kinda boy at all! I have enough for another meal and I'm already planning to make another batch to freeze. Thanks for sharing the recipe! It is a keeper and something I'll be adding to my rotation. Yay!

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    4. Yay, so glad you tried it and loved it like we did! Thanks so much for letting me know! :)

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  6. I am totally adding this to our nightly recipes!

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  7. Love this recipe. It's a big hit in our pasta-loving, bolognese-loving household too.

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    1. Glad y'all love this recipe as much as we did!

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  8. ha I'm the same way if Ryan ever says he doesn't like something...it becomes my MISSION to change his mind!

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  9. Marie: is there a crock pot version?! I love pasta sauce in the crock pot. I don't have the patience to simmer. Ha ha

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    1. Mickie, I've never tried it, but I think you could totally make this in the crockpot! Here's how I'd do it: cook up until the point when you add the tomatoes. Add the beef/garlc/wine mixture to the crockpot, then stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Cook 3 hours on high or 6 hours on low. In the last hour of cooking, add the rest of the ingredients (nutmeg, milk, etc.). Let me know how it turns out if you try it this way! (If you'd rather not experiment, Skinnytaste has a great crockpot bolognese recipe!)

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  10. I love bolognese sauce. I so want a big bowl of this now! Thanks for posting Marie.

    Anne ~ Uni Homemaker

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    1. I could have a big bowl just about any time of day! Thanks Anne!

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  11. Oh how I love pasta shaped like little ears. Particularly with homemade bolognese, yum! I have loved pasta since forever. Glad that Miles has caught on!

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  12. Ina never fails, does she? This looks delicious. Comfort food indeed! Thank you for sharing it with us!

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  13. Yummmmmm yummmm yummmm comfort in a bowl, I am down for some of this!!

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  14. That's nearly sacrilege! I'm so glad you brought him around! ;) This looks delicious! Makin' me hungry so close to dinner time, haha!

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