Summer is such a great time for lighter fare- seafood, salads, chilled soups- but let’s be honest, sometimes in warmer weather we still get really hungry, right? Burgers, ribs, warm pasta dishes… wait- what? Oh, yes… I hereby present to you the hearty summer pasta– a lighter, fresher riff on the classic bolognese: hearty enough for a big appetite while still celebrating those fresh summer flavours!
The ground beef in this recipe is lightly coated in tomato paste and simmered with some red wine, which produces that rich ‘bolognese’ taste, but the dish as a whole remains fresh and zippy for summertime- grape tomatoes are halved and tossed into the pasta raw along with ribbons of fresh basil, bright lemon zest and salty jewels of Kalamata olives.
Now all I need is for those Yellow Pear and Black Prince tomato plants in my garden to start producing. Can you imagine this dish with all those different colours? Wowza.
I really should have waited until they were ready and done this post then…
Ah, shoot. Guess I’ll just have to make it again later 🙂
|Summer 'Bolognese' with Fresh Grape Tomatoes, Kalamata Olives and Lemon|| |
- 1 small punnet grape tomatoes, halved
- 1 lemon, zest and juice
- 2 Tbsp red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 2 Tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- 2 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 tsp sugar
- 2 Tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup dry red wine
- 1 lb. spaghetti
- ½ cup kalamata olives, pitted and coarsely chopped
- ⅓ cup fresh basil, coarsely chopped
- Parmesan cheese, grated (garnish)
- In a medium bowl, gently mix together the halved tomatoes, lemon zest and juice, red wine vinegar and olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- In a large non-stick pan, brown ground beef over medium high heat. When the beef is almost completely browned, drain the excess fat off and place back on the heat. Add the garlic, thyme and tomato paste and mix well. Continue to cook the beef mixture over medium-high heat, stirring frequently, until the tomato paste has darkened ever so slightly, approximately 5 minutes- this will create an additional depth of flavour.
- Add red wine to ground beef mixture and cook for an additional 5 minutes, until the wine has reduced.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions and drain. Add ground beef, olives, basil and tomato mixture (including the liquid) to the drained pasta and stir gently.
- Serve immediately and top with a healthy grating of Parmesan cheese.