Weeknight Bolognese

Ina Garten says that everyone should have a recipe for a good red meat sauce in their reserves for those nights when you need to toss a quick yet hearty pasta together. The last couple of weeks have required a lot of quick meals so one night I decided to try out Ina’s Weeknight Bolognese. The results were delicious and by far the best meat sauce I’ve ever made. This is definitely being added to my repertoire of quick and easy meals – it’ll be a reprieve from all my oven roasted chicken and veggie meals lol. Anyway…sauce time!


Simmering sauce. Mmm…


Pasta topped with freshly grated parmesan :]


Gah. I love pasta. I want to go eat this right now.

Weeknight Bolognese

Adapted from Ina Garten

2 Tablespoons olive oil
4 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 pound ground beef
1 Tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 Tablespoon cayenne
1 Tablespoon garlic salt
1 1/4 cups red wine (I just used whatever was left in the fridge from a few nights previous)
1 15 oz can stewed tomatoes
1 15 oz can tomato sauce
Salt and Freshly Ground Black Pepper
1 teaspoon garlic salt
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 pound dry pasta (I used Garofalo Penne Zitoni Pasta)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil (approximately – in all honesty, I don’t really measure this, I eyeball it) over medium high heat in a large skillet. Add the garlic and sauté until the garlic begins to brown. Add the ground beef and cook, crumbling the meat with a spatula or wooden spoon, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the red pepper flakes, cayenne and garlic salt, cook for 1 more minute or until the meat is completely brown. Pour the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon salt, 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, and the teaspoon each of garlic salt, cayenne, and red pepper flakes (if you are not a fan of spiciness, you may want to skip this secondary adding of cayenne). Stir until combined. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt and the pasta. Cook according to the directions on the package.

While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into a large serving bowl. Add the sauce and 1/2 cup Parmesan and toss well. Serve hot with additional grated Parmesan on the side. Or on top, if you’re me.

Makes excellent leftovers for lunch the next day. Just melt more cheese on top. 🙂

I served this with both garlic bread and regular french bread, as well as with steamed broccoli and caesar salad (which came from a package kit – don’t judge!).

I’m currently on this kick to make everything from Ina Garten’s cookbook “How Easy is That?”,  so you may be seeing more of Ina’s recipes in the near future. I also have plans to bake my way through Martha Stewart’s “Baking Handbook” and Ladurée: The Sweet Recipes  (my awesome sister got this for me for xmas this year – best gift everrrrrrrr) over the next few weeks. Call it the homeschool version of pastry school. We’ll see how it goes lol. I’ll keep you updated.

Hope you’re all enjoying the weekend!




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