By Dianne Bunis
Turkey leftovers? Basta! (translated = enough!) Here's an easy to prepare, easy-on-the-budget meal for anyone recovering from Thanksgiving dinner. The subtle tastes of garlic, onion, beef and tomatoes come together beautifully. Growing up with homemade, I'm ultra picky about tomato sauce. I've discovered a delicious bottled all-natural marinara sauce made by Bove's, the Vermont family-run restaurant, that's available in local grocery markets. Buon appetito!
Tuscan-style linguine with meat sauce
Serves 6 (for 12 servings, double recipe)
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
1 clove garlic, chopped
1/4 cup chopped onion
1 lb. grass-fed ground beef, 86%
1 jar Bove's marinara sauce
Red wine, optional
Red pepper flakes
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-low heat, adding the garlic and onion. Cook until onion is translucent, do not over cook. Add ground beef, stirring often.
When meat has browned, drain the fat, then to the same pan, add the marinara, wine (optional) and reduce heat to low, let simmer.
To cook linguine (little tongues), bring a large pot of water, 6 quarts, to a rapid boil. Lightly salt the water to prevent pasta from becoming sticky. Add the pasta (do not break) and stir during the first minute of cooking to prevent sticking.
Cook pastaaccording to package directions until it's "al dente, 5 to 8 minutes -- it should have some firmness to the bite. Immediately drain cooked pasta into a large colander, reserving 1/4 cup of the pasta water. Return pasta to pan with reserved water and, as they do in Tuscany, immediately toss with sauce over very low heat. Serve immediately.
Sprinkle with basil and freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheeses. Add red pepper flakes, to taste.