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Old 09-15-2008, 12:28 AM   #1
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Gemelli with Meat Sauce

My daughter loves this dish. It's pretty much an Americanized Italian dish, not even close to a traditional Bolognese, but it's pretty fast to make with no frills. It's something that I know I can make and there will be no complaints This recipe is enough for roughly one, 1 lb. bag of pasta, or about 4-5 adult sized portions.

I like to use fun shapes when cooking pasta for my daughter. Sometimes it's farfalle, sometimes it's penne or rigatoni. Tonight it was gemelli, aka the DNA strand:

You're also going to need 1 lb. of ground beef. I like using this brand from Costco. It has a pretty good flavor. The quality of the ground beef used will make a difference in the final product:

You'll also need one can of whole San Marzano tomatoes, which gets crushed by hand. If you can't find it or don't have it, you can use whatever brand of tomatoes or pre-made tomato sauce, but the flavor won't be there. If you've never tried San Marzanos, I highly recommend it. You will start to make the best tomato based pasta sauces that you've ever have.

For the base, saute one finely diced medium onion, or half of a large one, and about 4-5 thinly sliced garlic cloves in extra virgin olive oil until tender and translucent, but not browned:

Add your ground beef and brown. Season with kosher salt.

Add the crushed tomatoes and their juices, along with either 1/4 cup chicken stock + 1/4 cup white wine, or just 1/2 cup of either if you only have one of the two. Also add 2-3 bay leaves, and 4-5 sprigs of fresh thyme. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and lightly simmer until the liquids reduce and the sauce thickens, about 20 minutes. Remove the herbs and season to taste with kosher salt.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in salted water until al dente, then drain. Add pasta back to pot then add the sauce and toss until well incorporated, then serve:

At this point, you can add whatever else you want: fresh cracked pepper, parmesan cheese, red chili flakes, etc. Bon appetit!

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