Sunday, April 29, 2018

Meat Sauce, Down and Dirty


This isn't Bolognese sauce; let me be upfront about that. A good Bolognese takes hours to develop that wonderful, rich melding of flavors that makes lasagna the special occasion dish it is. But if you crave pasta with meat sauce and have about 30 minutes, this sauce will fit the bill and leave you enough to freeze for another meal.

Yield:  12 (1/2 cup) servings (4 SP, if you're counting)

INGREDIENTS
2 lbs  ground beef, 90%
2 slices bread, torn into small pieces (I used Nature's Own whole wheat)
1/4 c milk (I used fat free)
1 large onion, chopped finely
6 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp olive oil
1 (28 oz) can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper

DIRECTIONS
Tear 2 slices of bread into small pieces; add milk and mash together. Add to meat and use your hands to knead the panade into the meat until it is evenly distributed. Set aside.

Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium high heat. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. 
 
Add meat to onion and garlic mixture  and season with salt and pepper; saute 5-10 minutes until no pink remains, stirring to break up meat. 

Add crushed tomatoes, oregano, and red pepper. Stir well. Simmer for 10 minutes. Serve over your favorite pasta (radiatore and rigatoni are made for this kind of sauce). There's enough for 2 lbs of pasta, so divide accordingly. This freezes well.
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TASTE NOTES
I love a good Bolognese sauce, whether combined with bechamel in a lasagna or served over a dish of potato gnocchi. That said, I just don't make it for two of us. Craving a dish of pasta with meat sauce, I made this down and dirty version of meat sauce and it was sublime. The best part is I made it Sunday morning in less than a half hour, reheated half of it that night, and have 3 more cups in the freezer to use when the next craving hits.

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