Ina's Weeknight Bolognese

Ina Garten’s cookbook 'How Easy is That?' is filled with amazing recipes that taste so good people will think you’ve spent all day cooking. Weeknight Bolognese is no exception. Like the name states, it’s a great dinner option to ‘throw together’ during the week. Yes it comes together easily, but it’s also a total crowd pleaser. Hearty and delicious and as Ina calls it ‘the perfect stick-to-your-ribs dinner on a cold night.’ Hopefully our cold nights are quickly coming to an end but until they do, we’ll be enjoying Weeknight Bolognese!

For the pasta Ina recommends orecchiette or small shells. These pastas work well with the heartiness of the dish - they hold their shape and they have little pockets to soak up the sauce. Of course we use our favorite Olio Santo Olive Olive in the sauce, and like to serve salad and some crusty bread on the side.



Ina's Weeknight Bolognese


2 tablespoons good olive oil, plus extra to cook the pasta
1 pound lean ground sirloin
4 teaspoons minced garlic (4 cloves)
1 tablespoon dried oregano
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1¼ cups dry red wine, divided
1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
3/4 pound dried pasta, such as orecchiette or small shells
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving


Heat 2 tablespoons of Olio Santo olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground sirloin and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute. Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1½ teaspoons pepper, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt, a splash of oil, and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the box.

While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, basil, cream, and the remaining ¼ cup wine to the sauce and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into a large serving bowl. Add the sauce and ½ cup Parmesan and toss well. Serve hot with Parmesan on the side.

2010, Barefoot Contessa How Easy is That by Ina Garten, All Rights Reserved

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