Easy Bolognese

20160617_190950The weather has not been very summer-like this week, rainy, windy and 65 degrees. This is hardly a surprise, as almost exactly two years ago, just a few short days before our wedding, my then-fiance and I woke up to a gentle dusting of snow in our backyard (and promptly freaked out).

So, we’ve found ourselves back in hibernation mode, craving things with tons of meat and carbs and basically anything not involving vegetables or a salad. There was boxed macaroni and cheese the other night. I know. 

Ages ago, I shared my favorite tomato sauce recipe, which is mostly just a can of tomatoes with an onion and a bunch of butter in it. But sometimes you need something more substantial, such as when you are feeding someone who spent the whole day running around trying to get buses where they need to go. Or someone who likes meat. So I developed this easy bolognese the other night, and it turned out so well that I couldn’t help but share.

This recipe makes a very thick sauce, essentially half meat and half tomatoes. If you want, you can cut the meat by half and throw in another shallot or maybe some carrots or chopped zucchini, bolstering the veggie content in a very sneaky way. We…did not.

Easy Bolognese

  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 lb ground pork
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • dash red pepper flakes
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes (with basil, if you can find them)
  • pasta and Parmesan cheese, for serving

Place a large stockpot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown beef and pork until little bits are becoming crispy. Remove from pot, and set aside in a bowl lined with paper towels.

In the same pot, heat the olive oil over medium to medium-high heat. Add shallots and saute for about two minutes, or until beginning to turn translucent. Add red wine, oregano, thyme, red pepper flakes and garlic and cook until the wine is mostly absorbed and the onions are very soft.

Add tomatoes and simmer for about 30 minutes, or until sauce thickens slightly. Stir in meat. Serve over pasta and top with Parmesan cheese.

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