Healthy Frugal Recipe: Weeknight Bolognese

By Marissa Bognanno, The Frugal Diet contributing Chef, Zumba Instructor, & Author of "The Boot" Blog

I love being home here in Medfield for the summer because I can cook in a real live kitchen with lots of unnecessary but awesome gadgets that I don't have in Italy. (Unnecessary gadgets: egg slicer, apple corer, strainer within pot, sifter, thing to separate yolks from whites, etc.) 

So I love to go through all of Kate's cookbooks and then spend her money buying supplies. She lets me because then she gets to eat, duh. This week I made Ina Garten's Weeknight Bolognese. It turned out basically like a real Italian grandmother made it (I kind of am one already) and eating it with a nice glass of wine on the deck on a summer night was ridonk

[my wine doesn't have to tell me that twice]

[in italy my kitchen is so small i have to balance things on top of the washing machine. ahh, space. i love you!]

[key ingredient: amazing peperoncino that i smuggled in my suitcase. don't tell customs.]

Weeknight Bolognese
From Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? 
serves 4-5

2 TB good olive oil
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 (I used 1 pound)
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
¼ cup heavy cream (I used half & half)
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 sirloin and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, 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 flakes and cook for 1 more mintue. 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, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt, a splash of oil, and the pasta, and 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 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. 

Buon appetito! Happy cooking and hope you appreciate your space and gadgets while you do!

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