Sun-dried Tomato Bolognese, For Two!

Easy summer pasta?

Let’s do it.

This crazy flavorful sun-dried tomato bolognese takes less than 20 minutes to make, so it’s a dish you can rely on for the rest of summer. A simple mix of pasta, extra-lean ground beef, and a no-cook sauce is ALL it takes!! And if you want to throw some torn burrata on top, so be it.

Since it’s August (HELP!) I’m going to try to keep my posts short,  since we all have better shit to do. So to get that promise started, here’s how this recipe breaks down, real-quick.

Start with any pasta of your choice. I personally love fusilli here, but rigatoni, bow-tie, or ziti are all great choices. In general I think a “short” noodle works better than something long like spaghetti or angel hair. BUT! If you want to really sexy this up with some zoodles (SO lean) that would honestly be delicious.

Brown extra-lean ground beef! I go through pains to find grass-fed, antibiotic/hormone-free ground beef that’s 96%/4%, and you should too. This particular cut is SO flavorful, without the messy calories and fat you don’t need. Simply place the ground beef in an un-greased skillet over a medium flame, then slowly let it brown! You can drain whatever fat renders if you so choose, but personally, I leave it. Doing so adds tremendous flavor to the sauce, so it’s a harmless addition that lends major deliciousness.

And speaking of the sauce? THE SAUCE! Simply puree sun-dried tomatoes in oil, freshly diced plum tomato (yay!), pignoli nuts, and basil in your food processor, then combine with the cooked ground beef!

Easy, peasey, perfect.

I know I’m moving fast here, but there’s really not much else to say. This super simple recipe comes together lightening quick, and the results are just as satisfyingly tasty. The sun-dried tomatoes add a deep, robust flavor to the sauce that perfectly compliments the savory ground beef, while the plum tomato + basil add that ideal summertime freshness. To thin out the sauce add some dry red wine and a touch of pasta water to achieve your desired consistency. And of course, a little cheese on top never hurts!

Something sharp (parmesan!), something mild (mozz!) or something decadent (burrata!) all taste fantastic. xo

Sun-dried Tomato Bolognese, For Two

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 lb extra-lean ground beef (I used 96%/4%)
  • 8 oz pasta of your choice
  • 1 plum tomato, diced
  • 8.5 oz sun-dried tomatoes in oil
  • 2 tbsps pignoli nuts
  • 1 1/2 tbsps fresh diced basil
  • a pinch salt & pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry red wine (I used Chianti)
  • a few splashes of pasta water (optional)
  • sharp grated cheese to serve

Directions:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Next, in a deep, ungreased skillet cook the ground beef over a medium flame until no pink parts remain, about 5 – 8 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, in a food processor combine the diced tomato, sun-dried tomatoes in oil, pignoli nuts, and basil, pulsing for 1 – 2 minutes until smooth. The mixture will be thick, don’t worry!
  3. Once the ground beef is cooked, spoon the sun-dried tomato mixture into the pan. Salt & pepper to taste, then add the red wine and allow everything to simmer over a medium-low flame until needed.
  4. Cook the pasta to just past al dente according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot, reserving a cup of pasta water while draining.
  5. Add as much or as little pasta water as needed to thin out the sauce to your desired thickness — I used about 1/4 cup for mine. When you’re happy with the sauce, add the pasta, toss until evenly coated, then plate and serve! Top with fresh grated cheese when plating.
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