Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Fast & Easy Dinner: Penne with Meat Sauce

Classic Bolognese — or pasta with meat sauce — can take hours to prepare. However, this updated version comes together in no time. Lean ground beef is cooked with onion before being tossed with a simple puree of tomatoes, red wine, and spices.

The black olives provide a salty kick, while chunks of mozzarella make this pasta comforting and delicious. Although the recipe calls for penne, feel free to use whatever thick pasta you have on hand.
Fast & Easy Dinner: Penne with Meat Sauce


·         1 lb. lean ground beef
·         8 ounces dried penne
·         1/2 cup chopped onion
·         1 14-ounce can whole Italian-style tomatoes, undrained
·         1/2 of a 6-ounce can Italian-style tomato paste
·         1/4 cup dry red wine or tomato juice
·         1/2 teaspoon sugar
·         1/2 teaspoon dried oregano, crushed
·         1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
·         1/4 cup sliced pitted ripe olives
·         1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (2 ounces)
Fresh oregano leaves (optional)


1.     Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well. Return pasta to hot pan; cover to keep warm.

2.     Meanwhile, in a very large skillet, cook ground beef and onion until meat is brown. Drain off fat.

3.     In a blender or food processor, combine undrained tomatoes, tomato paste, wine, sugar, dried oregano, and pepper. Cover and blend or process until smooth.

4.     Stir tomato mixture into meat mixture in skillet. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer for 10 minutes.

5.     Stir in cooked pasta and olives. Cover and heat through.

6.     Sprinkle individual servings with mozzarella cheese. If desired, garnish with oregano leaves.

Happy Cooking
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