Weeknight Bolognese: Ina Garten

Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That? Ina Garten
serves 4-5

2 TB good olive oil, plus extra to cook pasta
1 pound lean ground sirloin
4 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
1 TB dried oregano
¼ tsp crushed red pepper flakes (I will use 1/8 tsp next time for the kids)
1 ¼ cups dry red wine, divided
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
2 TB tomato paste
Kosher salt & black pepper
¾ pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells (I used 1 pound)
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
¼ cup heavy cream
½ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving

Heat 2 TB 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, for 5-7 minutes, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more mintue. Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 TB salt, and 1 ½ tsp pepper, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt, a splash of oil, and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the box.

While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, basil, cream, and the remaining ¼ cup wine to the sauce and simmer for 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into a large serving bowl. Add the sauce and ½ cup Parmesan and toss well. Serve hot with Parmesan on the side.


There is a blizzard in Fargo, ND right now. We were in the mood for an adventure, and daring enough to go out into the storm. Ben wanted to get some paint to match the nightstands we got for Christmas. He is making a head board for our bed. On our way to the hardware store we could hardly see where we were going. I should have taken some pictures. Darn it, again. The storm is so bad, that the mall was closed *gasp and the interstate was closed from Fargo to Jamestown.

It felt so warm and comforting to make this bolognese sauce for dinner tonight. Don’t forget the garlic bread too. That goes really well with pasta sauce. I didn’t use any wine, just added some chicken stock.

This is an another Ina recipe. I’ve been on an Ina kick and made her Lobster Mac and Cheese on Tuesday this week, and this Bolognese sauce for dinner tonight. Ben loved it. It calls for a cup of heavy cream, and I tasted it before adding it in. It doesn’t even need the heavy cream sauce. It was so good without it. So, if you’re looking to save a few calories just leave that out. You could also use turkey sausage instead of the ground sirloin for this as well. Heck, it isn’t the New Year’s yet, we’ve got a few days to go still. :)

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  1. Mary says

    I thought it was really salty. We couldn’t eat it. Is it really supposed to have a tablespoon of salt?

  2. jgisvold says

    Ina likes to use a lot of salt in her recipes. I never used that much. Maybe try making it again without the salt?

  3. Terry says

    Just made this sauce! Going to rain here in South Florida and a bit breezy however still humid. Smells and tastes great. My husband is a chef and really liked the flave! Thanks!!!

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