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)
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.