Gonna Just Call This “Jordan Pasta”

I’ve been posting recipes to the Internet for nearly ten years. And the fact that I have never posted the one recipe I make more than any other – I literally make it once a week at minimum – is…weird, to say the least. But what happens is that every time I make it and think, “Oh, I should take some shots and post about this!” I figure come on, suuuurely I already have, and so then I just go ahead and eat it.

Except last night I did a quick search on my site while I was stirring the sauce, and: nope. I’ve never posted it. (Why it took me this many years to “do a quick search while stirring the sauce” is a question I cannot answer for you.)

This recipe is technically named for my son, but ok, I’ll tell you the truth: I named it after my son because he loves it, yeah yeah, but mostly because love it, and now whenever I make it I get to seem like an amazing parent who is making her son’s favorite meal for dinner while actually eating…my favorite meal. (Very selfless over here.)

It’s basically a bolognese, but has evolved over the years while I’ve pulled bits and pieces out of various recipes I’ve tried, and I am pleased to say that I have now achieved total pasta perfection. (And, thanks to the bounty of vegetables that are in there, it’s relatively healthy, as pastas go.)

And so, I present to you:

Jordan Pasta. (Just being honest.)

easy bolognese pasta with celery and carrots


What You Need:

  • 1 package pasta of choice (I like spaghetti or linguine for this)
  • 1/2 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 cup carrots, diced
  • 1 cup celery, diced
  • 4-6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 16-oz package ground beef (85% lean works best, but really: whatever)
  • 1 tsp tomato paste
  • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
  • 1 14-oz can tomato sauce
  • Handful fresh basil

What You Do:

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta according to package directions, then drain (reserving a little bit of the pasta water in case you need it to loosen the sauce later).
  2. In a large saucepan with high sides, heat a little olive oil. Add the ground beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook about five minutes, frequently pressing down on the beef with the back of a spoon to break it up, until just cooked through. Using a slotted spoon, remove the beef and set aside.
  3. In the same saucepan (adding a little more olive oil), cook the onion, carrots and celery, stirring frequently, about 5-6 minutes, or until softened. Add the garlic for the last 30 seconds of cooking and stir constantly.
  4. Return the meat to the pot, then add the diced tomatoes and tomato sauce. Bring to a boil, then turn down the heat and simmer for…I don’t know, like fifteen minutes? Less if you’re starving; more if you can wait – a little longer tends to be better.
  5. When you’re happy with the sauce, season to taste, then pour in the pasta and toss it all together. Really get those muscles in there, and add a little pasta water if you feel like it needs to be thinned out a touch.
  6. Serve by ripping up a bit of the fresh basil and sprinkling it over the top – oh, and with fresh shaved parmigiana if you’re feeling fancy.


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