What's For Dinner?

Barefoot Contessa Weeknight Bolognese
{from "How Easy is That?" by Ina Garten}

Looking back over the recipes I have posted here, I noticed a couple of trends-
1.  I eat a lot of pasta.
2. I almost always use a Barefoot Contessa recipe.
What can I say?  Pasta is delicious, and there are always leftovers to have for lunch the next day.  And Ina has the best recipes.  They are easy and they always work, like this recipe for weeknight bolognese.  I am never going to make a traditional bolognese and stand over the stove for hours.  Ina knows that, and created this recipe that made me want the book in the first place.  This dish was so good, cozy and complex with layers of flavor, perfect for a cold night in LA!

Recipe after the break.

Weeknight Bolognese
serves 4-5 (more like 10!)

2 TB good olive oil, plus extra to cook pasta
1 pound lean ground sirloin
4 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
1 TB dried oregano
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 ¼ cups dry red wine, divided*
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
2 TB tomato paste
Kosher salt & black pepper
¾ pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells**
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Heat 2 TB of olive oil in a large (12 inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, crumbling the meat until the meat is no longer pink and has started to brown. Add 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 TB salt, and 1 ½ tsp pepper, stirring until combined.  Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.
Finish the sauce while the pasta cooks. Add the nutmeg, basil, cream, and the remaining ¼ cup wine to the sauce and simmer for 8-10 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 didn't have any red wine so I substituted 1/2 cup of chicken stock.
**I used a pound of pasta and there was plenty of sauce to go around.

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