Pasta With Zesty Bolognese

Zesty Bolognese Pasta Sauce | Brittany's PantryLet me just say that I love to share this recipe with people.

Quick Disclaimer: I think my spell check isn’t working…

It isn’t my creation, but when people would ask me for a recipe for something quick and easy, I would give them this.  When a friend is looking for something that is different from the norm, but doesn’t want it to require a degree from the CIA (Culinary Institute of America) to make it, I pass this along.  And even after the one millionth time I get requests for my old stand bye, tried and true recipes (and then start a food blog so that I have a place to put them all for you to see!), I still am excited to add this to the list.  Because, really, that is the point of me doing this at all.  I started this blog so that after searching for different recipes from every source imaginable, trying them out and testing them, all of you could benefit.  If it is posted here, it worked for me and chances are, it will work for you too.

Speaking of random sources, this recipe is from the Food and Family Magazine that is put out by Kraft.  I think it is free, as I don’t ever recall subscribing to it, and truth be known, I rarely cook from it.  Nearly all of the recipes include a ‘convenience food’ as a main ingredient; boxed mac and cheese as a base for a chili mac recipe, jarred spaghetti sauce poured over frozen chicken patties and topped with cheese for chicken parmigana.  Not quite my bag and usually not very healthy.  But every once in awhile, I sort of go “Huh.  That is a good idea!”  I have been making this recipe for a long time and then kind of forgot about it.  Which I am really bummed about because it would have been perfect to throw together when my kitchen was out of commission.  Oh well.

Bolognese is a traditional italian meat sauce that is mostly meat and not much sauce.  It is thick and chunky so don’t expect it to coat your pasta like a marinara.  It won’t.  However when my son was little, I did discover that it is these very qualities that make it excellent finger food for a toddler.  So far, I have been unsuccessful in creating this dish with out the bottled dressing.  I have tried several times to make it but substituting different spices and vinegar, but I can’t quite get it to taste as good as the original version which has tremendous flavor.  If I ever finally nail it, I will amend the recipe later.  Until then, though far from a traditional bolognese, this is just plain awesome.Zesty Bolognese Pasta Sauce | Brittany's Pantry Pasta With Zesty Bolognese
Adapted from Kraft
Traditional Bolognese takes hours and hours to make.  This version can be done in the time it takes you to boil the water and cook the noodles, making it perfect for a weeknight dinner.

1 small onion, chopped
1 pound of ground beef
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
1/4 c Zesty Italian dressing or Italian dressing
2 T cream cheese
3/4 pound (12 oz) spaghetti, cooked according to package directions
parmasen cheese

While boiling the water and cooking the noodles, brown beef and onions in a bit of olive oil in a large sauce pan.  Once cooked, drain any fat and add tomato sauce, diced tomatoes and italian dressing.  Heat until bubbling slightly and let cook for a few minutes to let all the flavors merry.  Just before serving, turn off the heat, add the cream cheese and stir until it melts into the sauce.  Serve over pasta and top with parmesean cheese.

Honorable Mention:

This dish has such robust flavor, it goes really well with whole wheat pasta, so feel free to switch it up.  Ground turkey is good in here too.  This sauce freezes great, but sometimes (and I don’t know when it isn’t ALL the time-wierd) the cream cheese curdles slightly when you reheat it.  This doesn’t affect the taste at all and I still freeze leftover sauce all the time.  It is also fantastic with roasted peppers in it.  Just use the kind jarred in water, dice them up and throw them in.  Super good.