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Pasta with Meat Sauce

Penne Strascicate (Pasta with Meat Sauce)

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So, it is smack dab in the middle of November and I am sitting outside on my deck in the sunshine, in a t-shirt, and it is perfectly warm and beautiful. This weather is amazing and I’m loving it, but isn’t it also kind of weird? There have only been a few splotches of cold so far this fall, which is great for getting outside, but I just remember all those Halloweens from years past when I was freezing my butt off! I’ll take it, but hopefully this doesn’t mean we end up with a really cold spring! 

My work spot for the day!

My work spot for the day!

Speaking of getting outside, I recently took advantage of these sunny days and 60+ temps and went for a hike with the Indy monster at Raven Rock State Park in Lillington, NC. It’s a really nice place with several different trails – definitely recommended! A lot of trails in eastern NC are still closed from Hurricane Matthew damage, but I was still able to get a good hike. Pretty, right?

Raven Rock State Park, NC

Raven Rock State Park, NC

Raven Rock State Park, NC

Raven Rock State Park, NC

Well, all this hiking had me craving some pasta and a good hearty meal, so of course… ITALIAN FOOD. I had to. I’ve been craving it lately and get so excited for it! I love good, hearty meals and think eating my way through Italy would literally be one of the best things ever. Plus, I hear wine is cheaper than water in Italy, so, sign me up for that. The amazing Italian scenery is just icing on the cake! Definitely a bucket list trip.

Pasta Strascicate

Penne Strascicate has the fancy Italian name, but it’s really just an old Florentine method of combining pasta and sauce – most likely just a simple solution for using up leftover pasta. However, it’s really best when fresh and homemade. I love to experiment and add my own touch to recipes, so this isn’t your traditional Penne Strascicate, but it’s still pretty darn delicious!

Pasta Strascicate

I have a mild obsession with bowtie pasta (or farfalle if we’re being proper), so I love any excuse to get to use it! Since I had a box on hand, I substituted it for the traditional Tuscan penne, but you’re welcome to use whichever type you prefer. I think rotini pasta would also work really well for this dish.

Pasta Strascicate

I added a bit more spices and some spinach, but I also think some chopped zucchini would go well in the dish too if you happened to feel so inclined. It’s a pretty uncomplicated dish while still being full of flavor, so hopefully you’ll love it as much as I do! Buon appetito!

Penne Strascicate

Serves 4
Modified version of the classic meat and pasta dish


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Cook Time
55 min

Cook Time
55 min

Ingredients
  1. 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  2. 1 clove garlic, minced
  3. 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  4. 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
  5. ½ tablespoon dried parsley, or 1 ½ tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  6. Big pinch dried basil
  7. 1 pound ground beef
  8. 1 (14.5 oz) can stewed tomatoes, or 1 lb fresh, chopped and seeded Roma tomatoes
  9. ½ cup dry red wine
  10. 1/3 cup beef broth (or more if sauce gets too dry)
  11. 1 pound penne, bowtie, or rotini pasta
  12. 3 handfuls fresh spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
  13. 1 tablespoon butter
  14. Fresh grated parmesan cheese, as desired
  15. Salt and pepper to taste
  16. Optional: dash of red pepper flakes (added to meat sauce)
Instructions
  1. In a large saucepan over medium heat, warm the olive oil. Add the garlic and let it slightly brown – about 1-2 minutes. Add the onion and carrot and sauté, stirring often, until the vegetables are soft and slightly browned; about 5 – 10 minutes.
  2. Stir in the parsley and basil, then add the ground beef, breaking it up until browned (about 5 minutes), though it doesn’t need to be completely cooked through yet.
  3. Raise the heat to high, add the wine and stir until the liquid has reduced, about 3 minutes.
  4. Reduce the heat to medium, add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Stirring frequently, cook until the liquid has reduced slightly, about 5 – 7 minutes.
  5. Add the broth, reduce heat to medium-low, cover partially and simmer for about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir well and cook about 7-8 minutes or until tender but still firm to the bite (“al dente”).
  7. Drain the pasta and rinse under cold water, shaking colander to drain well.
  8. Add the cooked pasta to the meat sauce, as well as the butter to bind the sauce.
  9. Stir well and cook for another few minutes until completely combined.
  10. Transfer to a serving bowl and add fresh grated parmesan as desired.
  11. Enjoy!
Notes
  1. You’ll want to use as large a saucepan as you have! This is a big dish!
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Pasta with Meat Sauce

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