I have never been good at homemade pasta sauces. Until I found the crockpot Bolognese recipe it was all Ragu all the time in this house. And there’s nothing wrong with that! Pasta sauce just seemed . . . elusive. Like something i couldn’t quite get because I’m Norwegian and Polish. And then one day I checked out My Father’s Daughter from the library (despite my dislike for Gwynnie Paltrow) and she’s all making pasta sauce and I thought well hell, if she can, I can.
No, this isn’t her recipe. It’s Ina Garten’s recipe. Because I like Ina. You can tell she
actually eats. Anyhow, I saw her make this whilst scrubbing dried up cheerios from the inside of a cereal bowl and I thought “YES! That is totally a recipe I can conquer. AND IN JUST 30 MINUTES” I highly recommend you make the crockpot Bolognese. But I recognize maybe you don’t want to do all the chopping or maybe you don’t have room in the freezer for buckets of sauce or maybe you have a job and other things to do. SO. Just try this recipe. I like the fact that it’s easy, it’s completely adjustable to your families tastes and it has a hearty dose of wine in it. And a note on the wine, it’s says use a dry red but I may have once used a dry Riesling with fantastic results. You will be able to taste the wine, so you have to make a judgement call, but don’t be afraid to try what you have on hand.
- 2 tablespoons good olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground sirloin (or ground beef! who is gonna know?)
- 4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
- 1/4 cup very small diced onion or shallot (optional)
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy)
- 1 1/4 cups dry red wine, divided
- 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- Heat olive oil over medium and brown meat. Get a nice brown color on it. Add the garlic and onions and red pepper flakes and cook 1-2 minutes until just soft. Do not brown the garlic. Yuck.
- Add 1 cup of the wine and use it help scrape up any brown bits from the bottom. Add the tomato paste and let it warm up for 1-2 minutes so that it will combine better. Then add the tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste. Stir to combine and then bring to a boil. Turn heat down to a simmer, cover and cook for 10 minutes.
- To finish the sauce add the nutmeg, cream, basil and rest of the wine. Let simmer for 8-10 minutes.
- Toss with freshly drained pasta and 1/2 cup parmesan cheese. Eat.