Barefoot’s weeknight bolognese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: pasta
Serves: 6-8
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound grass fed sirloin - I typically use 80% to 85% lean, as we like the flavor that a little fat brings.
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (roughly 5 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1¼ cups dry red wine, divided - I suggest using a rich and flavorful wine such as a Chianti or a Cabernet. I used a Cabernet, and it was amazing, so rich in flavor.
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, or a 24-ounce BPA free box of San Marzano tomatoes - I used the 24-ounce BPA-free box of San Marzao tomatoes, and it's the same as using a 28-ounce can.
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoons (coarse or fine) sea salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 box dried orecchiette or bow-tie pasta
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup freshly shredded or grated parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
  1. Let's prep the ingredients. Bring a large pot of well salted water to a boil. Mince the garlic cloves, measure out 1 cup of wine, 2 tablespoon tomato paste, spices and salt.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of 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, until the meat browns, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Stir in the minced garlic, red pepper flakes and the dried oregano, making sure to rub it between your fingers to release the oils, cook for 1 minute.
  4. Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits.
  5. Add the can or box of tomatoes, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, 1 teaspoon sea salt, and 1½ teaspoons pepper, stirring until combined.
  6. Bring the sauce to a boil.
  7. Once the sauce comes to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  8. While the sauce simmers, rinse and chop the basil, measure out ¼ cup of red wine, as well as ¼ cup heavy cream.
  9. Meanwhile, add the pasta to the boiling water, and cook according to the directions on the box. Orecchiette pasta usually takes 11 minutes to cook.
  10. While the pasta cooks, let's finish off the sauce.
  11. Add the ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ cup chopped basil, ¼ cup heavy cream, and the remaining ¼ cup wine to the sauce and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. Your sauce may not get super thick, but will thicken a bit. It's not the prettiest sauce, but it tastes great!
  12. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and pour it into either a large serving bowl or the same pan that you cooked the pasta in.
  13. Add the sauce to the pasta along with the ½ cup Parmesan and toss well.
  14. Serve the pasta up into individual bowls and top each with some fresh parmesan and basil. This pasta pairs well with crispy garlic bread as well as a caesar salad.
  15. Got leftovers: You can re-heat the pasta in a heavy-duty pan. Just add a splash or two of water, give the pasta a stir, set the heat to med-low, cover and let the pasta warm up. The water will evaporate, but will create moisture/steam for the pasta so it doesn't dry out while re-heating. Make sure to give the pasta a stir every so often, so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Note: This sauce tastes better the next day, as the flavors have a chance to meld. I usually make the sauce up a day ahead, re-heat it in a sauce pan the next day, cook up the pasta fresh, and blend the two together.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: serves 4-8
Recipe by Marin Mama Cooks at