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Ina Garten’s Quick and Easy Weeknight Bolognese

Ina Garten Weeknight Bolognese plate

This recipe from Ina Garten’s cookbook – How is Easy is That? - gets rave reviews online, but some reason I had yet to make it. I thought that a good Bolognese needed hours to make, but this streamlined version manages to nearly rival the depth and richness of a long-cooked version. It comes together fast, with readily available ingredients, making it an easy at home recipe.

Download Ina Garten’s Quick and Easy Weeknight Bolognese recipe

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 pound lean ground sirloin (90%)

4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)

1 tablespoon dried oregano

¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1¼ cups dry red wine, divided

1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells

¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed

¼ cup heavy cream

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Heat 2 tablespoons 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. Cook for 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown. 
  2. Stir in the tomato paste, garlic, oregano, and hot red pepper flakes and cook for one minute. Pour the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, 2 teaspoons kosher salt, and 1½ teaspoons ground pepper, stirring until combined.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt and the pasta and cook according to the directions on the box.
  4. While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, chopped basil, cream and add the remaining ¼ cup of wine to the sauce and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, transfer it with a slotted spoon or sieve to the pan with the sauce, saving the ½ cup of the pasta liquid.  Cook for one minute, adding pasta water, a bit at a time, if necessary to achieve desired consistency. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot with Parmesan on the side.

Ina Garten Weeknight Bolognese Orchiette Pasta
Ina Garten Weeknight Bolognese Orchiette Pasta
Ina Garten Weeknight Bolognese Orchiette Pasta


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