Mock Bolognese

I intended to use the nice ground beef I’d bought for burgers, but, as often happens, I craved pasta when the time came to make dinner. Lacking all the proper ingredients for a proper bolognese, I made this mock bolognese sauce. What you see here is actually the leftovers, packaged for lunch; when I finished making dinner, I wasn’t up for photography–I was hungry!

Anyway, the sauce was delicious, and I highly recommend making it.

You’ll need:
One onion, chopped
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 lb. ground beef (we had 85% lean–normally I’d get 90%)
1 28-oz. can of whole tomatoes (bolognese usually has crushed, but this was what I had)
salt and pepper
oregano
1/2 c. milk

Start by browning the meat in a deep, wide skillet. When it’s about done, add onions and cook, stirring often, until they’re beginning to get transluscent, five or six minutes. Add the garlic, and cook for a minute or so. Add the can of tomatoes (don’t drain them or anything–it all goes in) and break them up with a wooden spoon or whatever you’re using here. Add s&p and a dash of oregano. Bring to a simmer, and let simmer for an hour, stirring occasionally. After the hour is up, add the milk. I know, it sounds weird, but it’s delicous. Bring back up to a simmer, and cook for 15-20 minutes more. In the meantime, make some pasta. What you see here is a combination of the odds and ends in our pantry–a little gemelli, a little rigatoni. This’ll sauce about a pound, unless you’re hungry and can’t stop eating the sauce. In that case, it’ll cover, um, less. It reheats really well, so it makes for some tasty lunches.  It’s also just a good base sauce–you can add carrots (my original bolognese recipe calls for diced carrots with the onions, but I had none this time), red pepper flakes, mushrooms, whatever floats your boat.

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