Friday, May 20, 2011

Quick and Easy Pasta

It's Friday. I don't know if you're like me but it's my least favorite night to cook. I pray that no one has dug into any of the leftovers I deliberately made sure existed earlier in the week with Friday in mind. The less I have to cook the better.

But if you have to cook — or maybe you like to cook on Fridays because it signals the beginning of the weekend rhythms — here is an easy pasta dish I was inspired to make after looking over one of my many Barefoot Contessa cookbooks. It's a variation on her Bolognese and seriously didn't take more than 25 minutes to put it on the table.

What's your go-to easy I-don't-really-want-to-cook dinner? We'd love to know.

Ridiculously Easy Bolognese
serves 4-5

a couple of tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground turkey (you could obviously use beef; we just don't eat that)
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
red pepper flakes to taste--1/4 teaspoon or so
1 1/4 cups dry red wine, divided
1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
2 tablespoons tomato paste
3/4 pound dried pasta (some kind of shell works best)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon dried basil
1/4 cup cream or half and half
1/2 cup fresh grated Parmesan


Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground turkey and cook, stirring occasionally. Stir in the garlic, oregano and red pepper flakes. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Pour 1 cup of the win into the skillet. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Stir until combined. Simmer for about 10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt, a little olive oil and the pasta. Cook until done.

While the pasta cooks, add the nutmeg, basil, cream and remaining 1/4 cup of red wine to the sauce and simmer about 10 minutes. When the pasta is cooked, drain, and pour into a large bowl with the sauce and Parmesan. Stir it all together and serve.

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