Weeknight Bolognese. Yum.

Orecchiette Bolognese

In our continued quest to make up for all the pasta we didn’t have during our first few years of marriage (crazy, I know), we’ve been devouring pastas left & right. I’m just learning about differing types of noodles and their particular functions, and thank you to Ina Garten’s recipe, I was introduced to the mollusk-like orecchiette, a perfect vehicle for the ground sirloin bolognese sauce. I  kept the core of the recipe, but added slivered almonds & onion. And despite the completely Italian name (frankly, I don’t think I pronounce either word properly), the recipe was easy – but still evoked a true depth of flavor that I’m still salivating over.

Buon Appetito, indeed.



  • 1 lb, orecchiette
  • 1 lb, ground sirloin
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, whole
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tbsp, EVOO
  • 1 (28 oz.) can, san marzano tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp, tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup, slivered almonds
  • 1/4 cup, heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup, red wine
  • 1 tsp, fresh oregano
  • pepper, to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • brown sugar, to taste
  • handful of fresh basil
  • as many crushed red pepper flakes as you can tolerate
  • as much shredded parmesan as your heart desires


  • heat large sauce pan over medium-high heat
  • place onions & garlic in the dry pan and roast until garlic is near-crisp and onions start to brown
  • add EVOO to pan, allow oil to get hot (but not smokey) and add ground sirloin
  • brown sirloin until evenly cooked
  • add salt, pepper, oregano, 1/2 of the red pepper flakes. stir for about one more minute.
  • add wine and cook, allowing to evaporate for about one more minute
  • add tomatoes and tomato paste
  • bring to boil, leave at a simmer for 10 minutes
  • separately, boil heavily salted water with the whole garlic cloves and bay leaves, as well as a dripping of oil
  • once boiled, cook noodles for 8-10 minutes, or until desired doneness
  • while pasta is cooking, add a handful of basil, cream and a little more wine
  • bring to a boil, allow to simmer for 8-10 more minutes, or until desired thickness
  • drain pasta, add to sauce with most of the parmesan, stir well and serve.
  • serve topped with fresh parmesan and fresh basil. add the purple basil flowers for a pop of color.
  • Buon Appetito!



2 thoughts on “Weeknight Bolognese. Yum.

    • i put it on nearly everything. the human palate reacts to balance – true ‘umami’ comes from the unification of all of the flavor sources
      heinz ketchup perfect example
      soy sauce probably BEST example
      either way i use brown sugar to add a ‘true’ (not cloying) sweetness to nearly every dish

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