Many authentic Bolognese-style Italian meat sauce recipes for pasta are cumbersome and time-consuming. The sauce often has to cook for the better part of a day, or even longer. Well, here is a nifty meat sauce for pasta that can be made in under a half-hour – a great recipe for a quick weeknight dinner.
1 Tbs olive oil
¾ lb. lean ground beef, preferably sirloin
¼ lb. ground pork
4 cloves garlic, peeled & minced
½ tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried oregano
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 ¼ cups red wine
1 28-oz can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbs tomato paste
1 lb. dried pasta such as spaghetti, linguine, rigatoni, etc.
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
⅓ cup heavy cream
¼ cup chopped fresh basil
Ground black pepper
Grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the ground beef and pork and cook, stirring, until the meat is lightly browned, 5 to 7 minutes.
2. Add the garlic, thyme, oregano and red pepper flakes to the meat and stir to combine. Pour 1 cup (reserve the rest) of the wine into the pan along with the tomatoes, tomato paste, ½ tablespoon salt, and 1 ½ teaspoons black pepper and stir until combined. Simmer the sauce for about 10 minutes.
3. Cook the pasta according to directions on the package until al dente.
4. While the pasta is cooking, finish the meat sauce by adding the nutmeg, cream, remaining ¼ cup wine, and basil. Stir well and simmer for an additional 8 to 10 minutes, until thickened.
5. Serve the cooked, drained pasta with the meat sauce and grated cheese on top.
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Originally trained as an anthropologist, Ted Scheffler is a seasoned food, wine & travel writer based in Utah. He loves cooking, skiing, and spends an inordinate amount of time tending to his ever-growing herd of guitars and amplifiers.
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