One of the biggest differences between Summer and Fall in our house is in the abundance of hearty meals.
Summer is all about not using the stove or oven. It’s about fresh, crisp salads and meals that mimic the effect of an air conditioner.
During Fall, on the other hand, I swing the door wide open to hearty, comforting meals. I like meals that fill the house with their aroma on a Saturday or Sunday, meals simmer all afternoon and are ready to eat in the early evening, before the sun disappears.
I’ve had my behind firmly planted on the pasta train lately, riding its sauciness into the shortening days and crisp afternoons. I’m not sure what the whistle sounds like on a pasta train, but I have a feeling that the entire train smells delicious, like a scratch-’n-sniff spaghetti bolognese sticker.
This meal is one of the pasta train’s finest: rich, meaty bolognese, with a hint of creaminess served over spaghetti.
4 tbs. olive oil
2 yellow onions, diced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 bottle dry red wine
6 oz. can tomato paste
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 tbs. dried basil
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried parsely
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 lb. spaghetti, cooked and drained
loaf crusty bread, for mopping
Heat olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or dutch oven over medium heat. Add diced onion and cook, stirring often, until softened and fragrant, around 6 minutes. Add in garlic and cook for 1 minute, stirring often. Add ground beef and cook until meat is cooked through and completely crumbled into small pieces.
Pour in entire bottle of wine. Stir, then raise heat to medium-high and allow to come to a boil. Allow to boil until wine reduces by half. Scoop out and throw away any gray foam that may be floating on the top. Stir in tomato paste, then reduce heat to as low as possible.
Cover and simmer for at least two hours. You don’t want to simmer it for much longer than 4 hours. Stir every 30 minutes or so while sauce simmers so that nothing can stick to the bottom and burn.
When you are ready to eat (once your pasta water is boiling and salted and the pasta is about to go in), pour in the heavy cream and add in all spices, salt, and pepper.
Cover and allow to simmer for another 15 minutes. Ladle over spaghetti and sprinkle with grated parmesan cheese. Serve with a green side salad and some crusty bread for mopping up that sauce!
Enjoy your ride on the pasta train!
I’d really appreciate it if you can convince the conductor to swing by my house to pick me up.
I like pasta.
I am also a scratch-’n-sniff sticker aficionado. Word is that the train smells gooood.