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Weekinght Cooking—Pasta with Spicy Bolognese Sauce

  • Author: Tonja Engen


  • 2 Tbls. olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 celery stalk, diced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 1 Tbls. garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbls. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 pound dried pasta, (I used Strozzapreti)
  • 2 Tbls. fresh parsley, minced
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrots. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Next add the ground beef and cook, 5-7 minutes until meat is crumbled and brown.
  2. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute. Pour the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, and salt, and pepper to taste, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the box.
  4. While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add cream, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. Salt and pepper to taste.
  5. When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into pasta sauce. Add the parsley and ½ cup Parmesan and toss well. Serve hot with Parmesan on the side.