Ciao Summer Pasta with Meatsauce
KISS ME HARD BEFORE YOU GO.
I used to dislike summer time. “What? Are you crazy?” you ask.
Yes, I was.
My body temperature runs above normal. I’m ALWAYS warm! If it’s not, it’s usually because I didn’t feel well. So, back to Summer — I get super warm! Cooked. Therefore I got cuh-rank-kay… I was not much fun to be around with. Until one day, I told myself that I needed to change my attitude – Mind over pain, my friend! I should not be miserable for 1/4 of a year. Life’s too short for that!
I decided to take it head on. So what if I live in my thin t-shirt and skort, and never look “put together?” I cook outside. I crank up the AC. I drink lots and lots of iced beverages. Problem solved. And now, check me out: I sit outside with a glass of chilled wine or any version of wimpy beer at night, enjoying the sound of the crickets, looking up into the gracious sky scape . . . Thankful.
As we’re wrapping up this warm season, I thought I should cook something using the bounty of summer produce. Tomatoes, corn, wonderful herbs… But I would not want to leave out the protein: Beef. Lean, ground beef. At least 88% lean. It should taste and feel light, bright and yes, summery. This recipe is loosely adapted from Donna Hay’s The New Classics cookbook – Summer Bolognese.
I love Bucatini, it has some density, so the sauce sticks to it nicely, but use any type of pasta you like. This is a recipe that you will go back making it again and again. The brightness of the lemon and vinegar, the pungent and spicy taste of garlic that only becomes sweet and mellow as it gently cooks . . . The beautiful hint of anise that the tarragon brings, it sure makes the meat sauce that much more incredible. But wait, we don’t stop there… Basil. You can’t forget basil. Basil IS summer!
Ciao Summer, I love you!
- ½ 16-ounce box of Bucatini
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons dried chili flakes
- 1 pound of ground sirloin
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoons granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons tarragon leaves, minced
- ½ cup dry white wine
- Salt and fresh pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon of lemon rind, finely grated
- Juice of 1 lemon
- 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
- 3 ears of corn, kernels cut off
- 1 pound of mixed grape and cherry tomatoes
- Basil minette or basil leaves (as much as you like)
- Parmesan, grated (optional)
- Get your mise en place completely ready before cooking your pasta since this recipe only requires a short amount of time to make. You’d be happy you did.
- Cook pasta in salted, boiling water, according to the box instruction or until al dente. Drain the pasta and set aside.
- In the meantime while the pasta cooking, heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil in a large frying pan at high heat. Add the ground sirloin, garlic, and chili flakes. Stir and break up any lumps of beef until browned.
- Add balsamic vinegar, sugar and tarragon and cook for about 3-4 minutes.
- Deglaze the pan with wine and cook for another 3-4 minutes until the liquid is slightly reduced.
- Toss the pasta you set aside earlier, with the remaining olive oil, lemon rind and juice, vinegar and tomatoes.
- Add the meat sauce and top with basil and Parmesan.