I'm all about keeping things simple when it comes to cooking, and this dish is no exception. After a long day at work, all I wanted to do was curl up on my couch and binge How To Get Away With Murder (I wait 'til the full seasons are on Netflix, no spoilers!). It was also a Monday, and ugh, Mondays.
But sometimes, adulting requires you to do things you don't want to do, so I rolled up my sleeves and got into the kitchen. And it was soooo worth it! This ragu is quick—30 minutes, and I actually mean it—and is great over pasta, farro, or just some greens.
Here's what you'll need to make my Spicy Ragu (serves 1-2 for dinner, with leftovers):
- 1 lb 80-20 ground beef ("80-20" refers to fat ratio; preferably grass-fed, grass-finished—healthier & better for the environment!)
- 1 14oz can diced tomatoes
- 2 large cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 small shallot, finely chopped
- 1 TBS red chili flakes (give or take, depending on your spice-tolerance)
- 2 tsp each of fennel seeds, dried basil, oregano
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 cup white wine of your choice
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/4-1/2 water, if needed
- Olive oil for the pan
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 1/2 cup peas, frozen or fresh
In a large saute pan (1-2 inches deep), heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic and shallot to the pan, and cook until soft, about 1-2 minutes.
Add ground beef and cook until just browned, about 5-7 minutes. If there's a lot of fat in the pan, you can scoop it out, but there shouldn't be too much if using 80-20 beef. Add in diced tomatoes, all spices, white wine, salt and pepper, and combine completely. Cover, lower heat to low-medium and let sauce simmer for 15-20 minutes. Stir once in the middle of this time, and add water to thin the sauce, if needed. You can also add wine instead, if you prefer!
After the sauce is done simmering, turn off the heat, and stir in spinach & peas. The spinach will wilt very quickly, and the peas will retain their firmness and color. Serve immediately, or let cool completely before storing to refrigerate/freeze.