I spent the morning getting organized/running errands and getting photos of this next week’s grocery haul (I bought everything yesterday and today for next week) so that I can do the weekly recap for you. Have you seen the post about eating well for $100/month or less per person?
If you haven’t, and you’re looking to save serious cash on your grocery bills, follow along! I’m sharing how I keep our grocery bill to $200/month or less for the two of us and still eat quite well (not all KD, packaged ramen and canned pasta. No,no).
Anywho! This last week we’ve been working our way through leftovers of our favorite bolognese. It wound up doing a lot more meals than I was expecting- 10 to be exact. 5 each, not 10 each. So we still have today and tomorrow to finish it up but we aren’t complaining. We could probably eat this weekly.
I’ve been making my bolognese this way for about 4-5 years. It’s, as the title suggests, our favorite bolognese, and it’s also super easy. I do let it simmer for a solid 3-5 hours, so it isn’t quick like my tomato butter marinara, but it worth the time. It is also mostly hands-off.
Generally, the first day I make it, I boil up fresh pasta, and we eat it simply like that with hella parm/asiago. As a kid I took the spaghetti, a buttered bun and made a spaghetti sandwich and I really need to start doing that again. CARBS ON CARBS ON CARBS. I love it. The days after, I’ll either make a proper lasagna or I make poor man’s lasagna. One of my favorite meals as a kid… Literally just leftover spaghetti and sauce, piled in a baking dish with shredded cheddar in the middle and on top, baked until bubbly and crispy around the edges. Total comfort food.
In British fashion, it’s also great topped on a buttered potato. Weird, but good and completely normal if you’re in the UK. I wouldn’t even find it weird if you piled it on rice. Use whatcha got!
YOU DO YOU
- 1.25 lbs lean ground beef
- 1 medium onion, minced
- 2 stalks celery, minced
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and chopped fine
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1.5 TBSP dried basil
- 4oz tomato paste (I used Italian herb)
- 4oz red wine (I usually use Apothic Red)
- 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 14oz can crushed tomatoes
- ½-1 C water
- 1 beef bouillon cube
- 1 tbsp sugar, optional
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce, optional
- ½ C half n half
- salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 lb your favorite noodles (I used spaghettini)
- parm, asiago, whatever cheese you fancy, to serve
- Heat a deep, wide skillet or dutch oven over high heat. Once hot, add the ground beef to the skillet (there will be enough fat in the beef if you don't make the mistake of using extra lean. Please don't use extra lean). Brown the beef, breaking it up as you go, seasoning with a few pinches of salt.
- Once the beef is mostly cooked, remove beef to a paper towel lined plate and drain off excess fat, leaving a little in the pan.
- Add the onion, celery and carrot along with another good pinch of salt and the dried basil. Reduce heat to medium high and cook, stirring frequently for 5-7 minutes.
- Add the garlic and tomato paste, and continue cooking, stirring constantly for 2 minutes. Do not allow the garlic to burn.
- Return the beef to the skillet and pour in the wine. Scrape any bits from the bottom of the pan and bring to a boil. Allow the wine to simmer until liquid has evaporated, about 3 minutes.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, water, beef cube, sugar and worcestershire sauce, if using. bring to a simmer then reduce heat to low and cover loosely with a lid. Allow to simmer, stirring every once and a while, for 2-5 hours. However long you have time for but at least 2 hours. If the sauce is getting too thick, add some water. If it's too thin, remove the lid and allow to cook down.
- Add the cream and season with salt/sugar to taste.
- When ready to eat, cook pasta according to package directions, save a mug of pasta cooking water and toss sauce, pasta and cooking water in the pot until desired consistency is reached.
- Plate and serve with hella cheese and extra wine.
If you want to make a lasagna with the leftovers, don't make a pound of pasta, just make what you need and use leftover sauce for lasagna.
Really, you can pile the sauce on whatever you want.
Leftovers will keep in the fridge for a week and 3 months in the freezer.