Weeknight Bolognese

This is my go-to Bolognese recipe. It tastes as though it took hours to prepare but it is quick, easy and absolutely delicious.  I serve it over pasta for the kids, and over sautéed zucchini for me. Enjoy!

Contributor: Marianne Campbell


2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra to cook the pasta
1 pound lean ground sirloin
4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1¼ cups dry red wine, divided
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
¾ pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
¼ cup heavy cream (note:  I have never added the cream)
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat.
•  Add the ground sirloin and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown.
•  Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute.
•  Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits.•  Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons 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
•  Add a tablespoon of salt, a splash of oil, and the pasta.

•  Cook according to the directions on the box.

•  While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce.
•  Add the nutmeg, basil, cream, and the remaining ¼ cup wine to the sauce.
•  Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.
•  When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into a large serving bowl.
• Add the sauce and ½ cup Parmesan and toss well.

•  Serve hot with Parmesan on the side.
I have never added the cream. The sauce is so good without it, it just seemed an unnecessary addition.
Barefoot Contessa / How Easy is That? by Ina Garten

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