wine night: weeknight bolognese

I've been watching Food Network for as long as...
well for as long as Sunflower Cable in Lawrence, Kansas added it as a free channel.  
I have a soft spot in my heart for the "original" Food Network Chefs. 

My favorite, by far, is Ina Garten, The Barefoot Contessa.  
Ina can do no wrong. 
She cooks in her pajamas, lives in amazing house in East Hampton and has the cutest husband. 
And her friends are people with neat talents like floral arranging, or linen buyers, or gourmet grocers. 
I have all of Ina's cookbooks, and thanks to my Aunt Kathy, even have one signed!

Ina's Weeknight Bolognese is another go-to Wine Night recipe for us. 
We had it when my mom was here right after we got rained on.
It warms you heart and soul and goes splendidly with a glass of Chianti.
(Oh, and I make no changes to her recipe -- Ina needs no edits).

Make this for your Wine Night tonight! 
Weeknight Bolognese

  • 2 T. "good" olive oil (Ina always uses the very best of ingredients)
  • 1 lb. lean ground sirloin
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 T. dried oregano
  • 1/4 t. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 C. dry red wine, divided
  • 1 (28 oz.) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 lb. dried orecchiette
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 C. chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/4 C. heavy cream
  • 1/2 C. freshly grated Parmesan + extra for serving
  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add ground sirloin and cook, crumbling meat with a wooden spoon for 5 to 7 minutes, until meat has lost it's pink color and started to brown.
  2. Stir in garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for one minute.
  3. Add 1 C. wine and stir to scrape up any browned bits.
  4. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 T. salt, and 1 1/2 t. pepper, stirring until combined.
  5. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a T. of salt and add the pasta, and cook according to directions on the box.
  7. While pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add nutmeg, basil, cream, and remaining 1/4 C. of wine to the sauce. Simmer 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.
  8. When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into large serving bowl.  Add sauce and 1/2 C. Parmesan and toss well.
  9. Serve hot with Parmesan on the side.


{photos by me}
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