I call this summer bolognese because it’s lighter than my regular bolognese recipe . It’s made with fresh tomatoes which makes all the difference. I made this sauce the other night and I have to say it was just perfect . It cooked up in no time ( about 1/2 hour) and tasted fresh and delicious. Of course if you would like it vegetarian just omit the chicken. I wanted the protein so added a pound of ground chicken you can also use turkey and if you want ground beef. This time I kept it fairly light and used ground chicken. Used a thick ropy pasta — Bucatini and it was perfection on a plate made with fresh tomatoes.
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
8 garlic cloves– minced– I use a mini food processor always for mincing garlic — just makes it easy
1 lb. ground chicken, turkey or beef
Kosher Salt to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine
4 Tbsp. tomato paste if you use double concentrate use 2
1 lb. cherry tomatoes ( which are abundant and fresh right now)
12 oz. Bucatini or any spaghtetti you like or rigatoni or penne would work here as well
about 1 cup of Pasta Water — which you may or not need
Finely Grated Parmesan for serving
In a large skillet or pot heat oil then add garlic and cook till softened ( a few minutes) don’t brown it just soften it — sometimes you’ll need to turn off stove and let it just cook for a couple of minutes to soften.
With pan at medium high add chicken and cook, breaking up chicken for about 5 minutes or until chicken is no longer pink and fully cooked.
Add wine and reduce heat to medium low. Continue breaking up meat till it’s small pieces until wine is evaporated– another 5 minutes or so. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring till absorbed into chicken and cook for another few minutes.
Add tomatoes and let it cook down, stir to coat the tomatoes with the mixture — allow the tomatoes to cook till they are ready to burst — about 5 minutes. I used a masher ( see photo) and I smashed down on the tomatoes and burst all of them. You can leave some whole if you like but I didn’t because this is where the sauce will come from. Stir occasionally on medium low but don’t allow to burn. Allow sauce to thicken for about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile cook the pasta in a large pot of salted water until very al dente ( at least that’s how we like it)
Reserve about 1 cup of cooked pasta water because you may need it if sauce is too thick.
Taste sauce for salt and add accordingly. I probably added a teaspoon of Kosher Salt — everyone’s taste is different for salt so add to your liking.
Drain pasta and I used tongs and transferred pasta to pan with sauce. Tossing it in and cooking at a low simmer the pasta and the sauce thickened and I added a little pasta water at a time till I reached a perfect consistency . I probably used about 1/2 cup of pasta water. ( which also contains salt so consider this and don’t over-salt sauce — you can always add salt but it’s tough to take away if you make it too salty. The sauce was creamy and delicious .
Remove from heat and if you’d like add fresh basil.
Transfer to pasta bowls and top with Parmesan.