Kim is our friend. And this is actually her grandmotherâ€™s recipe. Itâ€™s a very old school Italian dishâ€”hearty and filling. Perfect for a fall or winter evening. The main ingredients (besides the pasta) are carrots, celery and onions, which is the classic combination for starting any soup or meat dish. So, while you may not necessarily think of eating carrots and celery with pasta, trust me, the flavors work. One of the best things about this recipe is that itâ€™s easy to scale up or down based on the number of people youâ€™re serving, or how much leftovers you want. The dish might even be better the next day. Might. There is a reason this dish is called â€œyummy.â€
Given the substantive nature of this dish, rigatoni or penne pasta works bestâ€”easy to scoop up all the goodness! Plus, the large diameter, combined with the ridges, makes them ideal to retain sauces on the entire surface, inside and out.
Two side notes about the pasta: Recently weâ€™ve been going â€œsauce heavyâ€ and â€œpasta lightâ€ with our pasta meals. All that talk about too much pasta not being good for you, blah blah blah. The recipe calls for 1 pound of pasta, but feel free to add more or less depending on your taste.
Also, for the past several years weâ€™ve been using Barilla Plus Pasta (in the yellow box). It is a multigrain pasta with extra protein and ALA Omega-3 (whatever that is). Honestly, we canâ€™t tell the difference between this and regular pasta. Weâ€™ve tried other wholegrain/multigrain pastas and like the Barilla Plus the best. (The Healthy Request in the brown box was our least favorite by a landslide!)
Kim’s Yummy Pasta
adapted slightly from grandmaâ€™s recipe
- 1 lb pasta
- 1 yellow onion, chopped
- 1-2 celery sticks, diced
- 3-4 carrot sticks, diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1/3 cup white wine
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 1 14.5 ounce can diced tomatoes
- fresh basil
- Heat olive oil in a large sauce pan or Dutch oven. Add garlic and onion and simmer.
- Add carrots and celery. Simmer over medium heat, covered, stirring occasionally for 5-10 minutes.
- Add ground beef. Cook until brown.
- Add tomatoes and white wine. Bring to a boil, then turn down heat to medium/low, cover and let simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- After 45 minutes, add the cream, vinegar, basil and salt to taste. Let simmer for 15 minutes, uncovered.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta. When both are done, combine the two and serve with grated cheese.