Weeknight Bolognese

This was a huge hit with my family.  I thought the addition of the red wine might be too strong, but it makes the sauce so flavorful.

Ingredients:

2 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 pound lean ground sirloin
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/4 cups dry red wine, divided
1-28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
2 Tablespoons tomato paste
1 box small shell pasta
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add the ground sirloin and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon for 5-7 minutes or until the meat has lost all of it’s pink color and has browned.  Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook one more minute.  Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and scrape up any browned bits.  Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 Tablespoon salt and 1/ 2 teaspoons pepper, stirring until combined.  Bring to a boil, lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.  Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a Tablespoon of salt and a splash of olive oil and cook pasta according the package directions on the box.  While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce.  Add the nutmeg, basil, milk, and remaining 1/4 cup of 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 1/2 cup Parmesan and toss well.

Serves: 4

Recipe adapted from Food Network Magazine.