I have to confess: Ina is my new best friend, or obsession, whatever you want to call it. I love Ina Garten and can read her cookbooks like novels. Her beautiful pictures. Her comments about each recipe. In the last year, I have read 4 and am already stalking the next one(s!) I want! I have tried a handful of recipes from each book, and she has never disappointed. So, I shall share a few from my recent Ina-adventures; this being the first.
A friend who enjoys cooking almost as much as me said this is one of her and her husband's favorites. A good bowl of spaghetti is always comforting. But, this according to my friend, "is as close to a bowl of pasta from Italy as I have tasted since Italy." That review of an Ina recipe was all the reason I needed to try this one! And now I recommend it to you! (from Ina Garten's How Easy Is That? cookbook)
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb lean ground sirloin
- 4 tsp minced garlic (4 cloves)
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
- 1 1/4 cups dry red wine, divided
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 3/4 lb dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Heat 2 tbsp of olive oil in a large (12 in) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground sirloin and cook, crumbling the meat with wooden spoon, for 5-7 minutes, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute. Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 tbsp salt, and 1 1/2 tsp 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 tbsp of salt, a splash of oil, and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the box.
While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, basil, cream, and the remaining 1/4 cup 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. Serve hot with Parmesan on the side.
Wonderful! Absolutely wonderful!
It serves as a great change from the American spaghetti supper, not to replace but adds to the meal rotation in a deliciously Italian way. Double and freeze half for later. You'll not be sorry!