Tomorrow, Kevin, our friend Roxy, and I leave for Italy! We’ll be in Vernazza in the Cinque Terre, visiting my brother Michael in Bologna, and rounding the week out in Rome. Sounds amazing, right? It IS amazing, but for the lack of a better word, I’ve been a bit of a butthead about it lately. Yes, a butthead. I’ve been so preoccupied with work and launching the catering business there, that I haven’t had much time to research or prepare for this trip. And I do not like to be unprepared. So I’ve been stressing out a little. Leave it to me to get stressed out about vacation in Italy, right?
In effort to get myself more amped up (and to prepare my stomach for lots of pasta and wine), I made Ina’s Weeknight Bolognese for dinner this week. I’m looking forward to trying authentic bolognese in Bologna next week, but if there’s anyone who can replicate it and make it easy enough for a quick-ish weeknight dinner, it’s Ina.
Ina’s Weeknight Bolognese
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lb ground meat
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup dry red wine
1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 lb orecchiette
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup chopped parsley leaves
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and break up with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned, about 7 minutes.
2. Stir in garlic, oregano, and pepper flakes. Cook 1 minute more until fragrant, then pour in the wine and stir to scrape up any browned bits.
3. Add tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 tbsp kosher salt, and 1 1/2 tsp pepper. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta until al dente. Drain.
5. Add nutmeg, parsley, and cream to the sauce. Stir to combine, then toss the pasta into the sauce. Stir in grated Parmesan and top with more grated cheese just before serving.