This recipe is a keeper (thanks, Morgan at Host the Toast!) and is particularly well-suited to hosting a larger gathering of friends or family. Or, if you’re like my family of three, it will serve leftovers for a few days afterwards. If you’re replacing the tagliatelle noodles with fettucine—heads up—you might add a few minutes to your cooking time. The al dente was a step or two shy of al dente-ness, though that meant the reheating process the next day yielded a perfect noodle.
PREP TIME: 10 mins, COOK TIME: 40 mins, TOTAL TIME: 50 mins
Serves: 6 servings
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
- ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes, plus more to taste
- 1.5 lb ground chuck
- ¼ cup tomato paste
- 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
- 3 cups reduced sodium chicken stock (or 2 cups chicken stock and 1 cup wine)
- 4 sprigs thyme
- 1 pound tagliatelle or spaghetti
- ¼ cup milk
- ½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- ¼ cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves
- In a dutch oven or large skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon until lightly crisped. Mix in the onion, celery, and garlic, and season liberally with salt and pepper. Mix in ¼ teaspoon red chili flakes, adding slightly more if you prefer more heat in your sauce. Cook together until the onion has softened, about 5 minutes.
- Add in the ground chuck. Cook, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, for 5 minutes or until browned all over. Once browned, stir in the tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, chicken stock, and thyme.
- Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer, cover, and cook for 5 minutes. Then, uncover, remove the thyme sprigs, stir the pasta in, and continue to simmer for 15 minutes or until the pasta is cooked through and the sauce has thickened, stirring occasionally.
- Stir in the milk, parmesan cheese, and shredded basil, and adjust the seasonings to taste. Serve with additional basil, to garnish.