Summer Spaghetti Bolognese

Bolognese, that oh so popular Italian meet sauce, doesn’t have to be the heavy, rich topping we are all used to. A traditional Bolognese barely has any tomato, but as the days grow longer tomatoes grow better and there is a no more delicious way to mix up a fresh and delicious bolognese then with juicy heirloom tomatoes and garden basil. Below is a summery version of a classic Bolognese sauce, minus the cream, milk, bacon and overall heaviness that make the dish such a popular winter meal. And don’t worry. By eliminating the heavier ingredients you are certainly not skimping on the flavor. Fresh tomatoes pack intense flavor when stewed (as well as serious antioxidants) and the addition of freshly cut basil adds a summery, herb bite to the dish.

Summer Spaghetti Bolognese (serves 4-6)

1 large onion, chopped
2 large carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic
5 anchovy filets
1/4 cup tomato paste
1 lb ground beef
1 cup red wine
2 tbsp thyme
2 tbsp oregano
2 lbs chopped heirloon tomatoes, liquid reserved
1 handful basil
Sea salt and pepper to taste
1 lb fettuccine or other thick pasta

In a saute pan sweat the onions until soft and translucent. When soft add the garlic allowing it to just cook or until very aromatic. Add the anchovy filets and cook until they have dissolved. Add the carrots and tomato paste until well combined. Add the ground beef and let brown fully. Be sure to buy lean meat so that you do not end up with greasy sauce. If your meat is not quite as lean, cook the meet in a separate pan and add to the sauce when finished and drained. Add the remainder of your ingredients, save the basil and bring to a simmer. Let simmer on low 1 hour.

Just before you are ready to serve bring a large pot of water, olive oil and sea salt to boil. Add pasta and cook until almost al dente, about eight minutes. Drain water and add pasta to sauce. Mix thoroughly and allow to finish cooking, about two minutes.

When ready to serve salt and pepper to taste and top with thinly sliced basil.