pasta bolognese

January 24, 2013

prep time: 20 minutes       cook time: 20 minutes       makes 4 servings

1 T extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 medium carrots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz. rigatoni or penne (about 3 cups)
8 oz. lean ground beef
1/3 c dry red wine
1 14-oz. can petite diced tomatoes
2 T tomato paste
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground pepper


  1. heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. add onion, carrots, and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, 6-8 minutes.
  2. meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. add pasta and cook according to package directions. drain.
  3. add beef to the vegetables and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon, until cooked through, 3-4 minutes. increase heat to medium-high, add wine and cook until almost evaporated, 1-1.5 minutes. stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, and nutmeg; reduce heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes. remove from the heat and stir in salt and pepper. serve the pasta with the sauce.


i decided to amp up the boring college-dorm spaghetti dinner (thin spaghetti noodles and store-bought tomato sauce). i happened to stumble upon this recipe while reading some news stories on yahoo (if you can even call some of the stories they have on there, “news.”) i used penne noodles, but i still stuck with the store-bought-tomato-sauce-in-a-jar.

i omitted the celery because i’m not a fan of it, plus it’s not a vegetable that i usually purchase and have in my refrigerator at a minute’s notice. carrots, on the other hand, i always buy a 1 lb. bag from the store to use for stir-fry or other spontaneous dishes i decide to make. carrots also seem to be a pretty universal vegetable that can go in any dish, especially if you want a little crunch.

anyway, like i mentioned before, i took a short cut with the diced tomatoes and tomato paste. the ground beef gave the sauce a nice meatiness and thickness to it which is what i like… none of that thin, watery sauce stuff. plus, i like shortcuts… anything to reduce the amount of time i have to stand in the kitchen (especially since i’m 29 weeks pregnant) making dinner is a great bonus to a great recipe.

as always, i love the lingering smell of good food in the kitchen after cooking/baking and this dish left a good hearty smell. lance liked the dish too. (he’s a big meat-eater, so whenever i incorporate any kind of meat into my cooking, he’s happy :-))

this may be how i make “spaghetti” from now on because it’s such a simple and relatively fast recipe to whip up. and i will most likely have all the ingredients too !

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