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We eat a lot of spaghetti around our house.

A lot.

Like, maybe every week. If not that often, then at least every other week. Let’s face it, it’s quick, easy, economical, and even the pickiest toddler will eat it.  I have my go-to sauce that I typically make, and, since my guys insist on having some sort of meat with their pasta–I usually add in my homemade meatballs.  If you haven’t made your own meatballs before, you’re totally missing out.  Seriously, they are so, so easy, and better than anything that you can get in the freezer case.

When I found out that this month’s Crazy Cooking Challenge was for spaghetti and red sauce, I was a little hesitant to participate.  Simply because I love the way we usually prepare our spaghetti, and what can I say–I’m boring a creature of habit.  But then I decided this Challenge would be a great opportunity to try a different version of one of our favorite meals.

spaghetti 2

After searching Pinterest (time-suck, much???), I finally stumbled on the recipe I wanted to try: arribiata sauce from Live Love Pasta.  It caught my attention because arrabiata sauce is basically a spicy marinara–and you know how I feel about spicy foods!  Love ’em!

If you’re not into the spicy scene, don’t worry.  The red pepper flakes listed in the recipe below won’t make this dish overly spicy (my four-year old gobbled it up).  But if you want a little extra heat, by all means, add a little more (we did!).

And, of course, I changed the recipe some, adding in meat, a bit of heavy cream to thicken the sauce, and a few extra spices.  It was a nice change from our norm, and now I have a new red-sauce recipe in my arsenal to change things up every now and then!*

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*Cheese-sprinkles courtesy of Doodle

Spicy Bolognese
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground sirloin
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 28-ounce can tomato sauce
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • freshly grated parmesan cheese
  1. Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the ground sirloin and cook until the meat has started to brown, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for one more minute.
  2. Pour in the wine to deglaze the bottom of the pan, scraping up all of the yummy brown bits.
  3. Add the tomato sauce, tomato paste, lemon juice, and salt and pepper. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes.
  4. Add the heavy cream and basil, and simmer for an additional 10 minutes, until thickened.
  5. Toss with spaghetti noodles and parmesan cheese.

I’m linking up over at Mom’s Crazy Cooking Challenge today, and if you haven’t checked out Tina’s site, you should. She’s got some great stuff over there.


Check out my previous Challenge entries:

Dark Chocolate Cake with Hot Chocolate Buttercream
Creamy Chicken Noodle Soup
Eggnog Fudge
Loaded Mashed Potato Casserole

And be sure to check out all of the other great recipes from this month’s participants!