Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

food-dinner-pasta-spaghetti-8500.jpgSpaghetti Bolognese

Probably one of the easiest recipes to master and so satisfying, Spaghetti Bolognese traces its roots back to Bologna, Italy in the 1800’s. Ironically, I lived in Bologna, Italy and never had it once while I was there, nor recall seeing it on any menu! That aside, it is rich, filling and super inexpensive to make. Plus, from start to finish it should take less than 30 minutes to complete. This recipe serves 4-6 people so if you are only cooking for yourself and a roommate there will be plenty left over for lunches. Buon Appetito!

Ingredients:

1 lb. spaghetti

1 28 ounce can crushed tomatoes

1 lb. ground beef (ground turkey can be substituted for a healthier option)

2 T olive oil

1 onion, peeled and chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 celery stalk, diced

A handful of fresh basil OR 1 Tsp of dried basil

1 Tsp. dried oregano

1 Tsp. dried parsley

1 chicken bouillon cube

Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, coat a large saucepan with the olive oil and add the chopped onion. Cook onion until translucent, then add the carrots and celery. When the vegetables are fork tender, add the beef and cook until completely browned.

Drain mixture in a colander over the sink to remove some of the fat and then add everything back to the pan. Next, add the crushed tomatoes, the bouillon cube, the spices, and the salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let simmer on a medium stove while you make the spaghetti. Don’t let the sauce boil.

Meanwhile, once the water has reached a rolling boil, add the spaghetti and cook per package directions. Drain pasta in the colander and return back to the pot. Toss with the sauce,  sprinkle with parmesan, and enjoy!

Cooking hint: When I lived in Italy, I was told that the water for cooking pasta should be salted enough that it tastes like the ocean. This adds flavor to the pasta as it cooks.

Time saver note:

You can double the sauce recipe and freeze half in a freezer bag or freezer-safe container for another easy dinner. The sauce will last up to two months in the freezer and up to five days in the fridge.

To defrost, simply move the frozen sauce into the fridge the night before you plan to use it. It should be defrosted enough by dinner the next day that you can reheat it on low to medium heat in a saucepan. I don’t recommend defrosting or reheating it in the microwave. It ruins the flavor and texture of the ingredients.

Enjoy!

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