There's a million variations and the classic calls for a mirepoix, but what if you don't want to bother with all the chopping, the longer prep, etc? What if it's 7:15 and you want to be eating by 8?
Here's your plan, then.
- Olive oil
- 1 pound lean ground beef (I use lean in sauces; 80/10 is for burgers)
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
- 1 TBS dried oregano
- 1/8 TSP cayenne pepper
- Red wine, about a cup or so (I had an open bottle of inexpensive port, so I cut it 50/50 with water
- 1 large (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 small can of chopped black olives
- 1/4 TSP nutmeg
- 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- 1 TBS salt and 1 TSP pepper
- Grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil for serving
Drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, heat on medium, add your ground beef and sauté for a few minutes—just until the pink is gone. Deglaze with half your wine and add the garlic, oregano, and cayenne.
Sauté for a few more minutes, then add the tomatoes, paste, olives, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cover, bring to a simmer on medium heat; then uncover, add the rest of the wine and simmer for about 10 minutes. If bubbles splatter, add water as necessary (1/4-1/2 cup) to thin it a bit.
Once the simmer is done, get your pasta of choice on the boil (I used gluten free, corn & rice-based spaghetti) and finish off the sauce with the basil and cream. Let it continue to simmer on medium low as your pasta is boiling.
It's very much worth it. Give a try.