Thursday, April 7, 2011

Thick Spaghetti with Spicy Meatsauce

This recipe was inspired by Rachel Ray's Pizzaiola Ragu with some adjustments. This recipe makes 4 very generous servings -- can easily feed 6! It is spicy and will leave you saying "Yum, that was good!"

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 tsp. fennel seeds
1 1/4 pounds ground sirloin
4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 tsp. dried oregano or 4 tsp. fresh oregano
1 1/2-2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
1 c. Merlot wine (or other dry red wine)
1 c. beef stock or broth
2- 15.5 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes or 1 can of crushed and 1 can of petite diced (if you want your sauce more chunky)
16 oz. thick spaghetti (or if you can get it bucatini noodles)
1/4 c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
1/2 c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese

Heat olive oil in a large skillet. Add the fennel seeds and red pepper and toast lightly until fragrant. Add the ground sirloin and cook until well-cooked and browned. About 10 minutes.

Add garlic, oregano, salt and pepper and cook a minute longer (until you smell the garlic). Add the Merlot wine and scrap up the bottom brown bits at the bottom of the skillet. Add the beef broth and tomatoes and stir well. Heat to boiling and then reduce heat to medium, stirring occasionally to avoid it from sticking. Sauce should thicken as it simmers.

While the sauce simmers, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook spaghetti to al dente. Drain and keep warm until the sauce is thickened.

To serve, place noodles in a large pasta bowl and top with sauce, garnish with the flat-leaf parsley and cheese. Pass additional cheese.

Serve with Crusty Italian Bread (click link for recipe), and a fresh garden salad and a large glass of Merlot wine (if you didn't drink the rest of the bottle while cooking this meal)! :)

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