Beef Bolognese with Cherry Tomatoes, Summer Squash, & Opal Basil

Beef Bolognese

with Cherry Tomatoes, Summer Squash, & Opal Basil

40 MIN
4 Servings
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From the Test Kitchen

Few dishes hit the spot quite like hearty, comforting bolognese—which we’re adapting for summertime tonight. The traditional carrot and onion meet seasonal tomatoes (which may be red or yellow) and squash, coming together in a delicious vegetable medley that lightens up the beef and pasta. For pops of aromatic flavor and color, we’re garnishing the dish with the elegant purple leaves of opal basil, a specialty variety.

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  • Nutrition
    PER SERVING
  • Calories
    840 Cals (est.)
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fresh
ingredients
Beef Bolognese with Cherry Tomatoes, Summer Squash, & Opal Basil
Title
  • 1⅛ lbs Ground Beef
  • 1 15-Ounce Can Crushed Tomatoes
  • 2 cloves Garlic
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Summer Squash
  • 1 Yellow Onion
  • ½ bunch Opal Basil
  • 2 Tbsps Crème Fraîche
  • ⅓ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • ¾ lb Fusilli Bucati Pasta
  • 6 oz Cherry Or Charm Tomatoes
time-saving
tips & techniques
Prepare the ingredients:
1 Prepare the ingredients:

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the squash lengthwise; cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Peel and small dice the carrot. Peel and small dice the onion. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Halve the tomatoes; place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

Cook the squash:
2 Cook the squash:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until melted. Add the squash in a single, even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned; season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned and softened. Transfer to a plate and set aside in a warm place.

Cook the pasta:
3 Cook the pasta:

While the squash cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 9 to 11 minutes, or until just shy of al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

Start the sauce:
4 Start the sauce:

While the pasta cooks, in the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the ground beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned. Add the carrot, onion, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.

Finish the sauce:
5 Finish the sauce:

Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the beef is cooked through and the sauce is thickened.

Finish the pasta & serve your dish:
6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the finished sauce, seasoned charm tomatoes, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring vigorously, 1 to 2 minutes, or until coated. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Turn off the heat. Stir in the crème fraîche, cooked squash, and half the basil (tearing the leaves just before adding). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished pasta among 4 dishes. Garnish with the cheese and remaining basil (tearing the leaves just before adding). Enjoy!

Tips from Home Chefs

1 Prepare the ingredients:

Heat a large pot of salted water to boiling on high. Wash and dry the fresh produce. Halve the squash lengthwise; cut crosswise into ¼-inch-thick pieces. Peel and small dice the carrot. Peel and small dice the onion. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Halve the tomatoes; place in a bowl and season with salt and pepper. Pick the basil leaves off the stems; discard the stems.

2 Cook the squash:

In a large pan (nonstick, if you have one), heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until melted. Add the squash in a single, even layer. Cook, without stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, or until lightly browned; season with salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until lightly browned and softened. Transfer to a plate and set aside in a warm place.

Cook the squash:
3 Cook the pasta:

While the squash cooks, add the pasta to the pot of boiling water. Cook 9 to 11 minutes, or until just shy of al dente (still slightly firm to the bite). Turn off the heat. Reserving ½ cup of the pasta cooking water, drain thoroughly and return to the pot.

4 Start the sauce:

While the pasta cooks, in the same pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the ground beef; season with salt and pepper. Cook, frequently breaking the meat apart with a spoon, 3 to 5 minutes, or until browned. Add the carrot, onion, and garlic; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until softened and fragrant.

Start the sauce:
Finish the sauce:
5 Finish the sauce:

Add the crushed tomatoes to the pan; season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 2 to 3 minutes, or until the beef is cooked through and the sauce is thickened.

6 Finish the pasta & serve your dish:

To the pot of cooked pasta, add the finished sauce, seasoned charm tomatoes, and half the reserved pasta cooking water. Cook on medium-high, stirring vigorously, 1 to 2 minutes, or until coated. (If the sauce seems dry, gradually add the remaining pasta cooking water to achieve your desired consistency.) Turn off the heat. Stir in the crème fraîche, cooked squash, and half the basil (tearing the leaves just before adding). Season with salt and pepper to taste. Divide the finished pasta among 4 dishes. Garnish with the cheese and remaining basil (tearing the leaves just before adding). Enjoy!

Finish the pasta & serve your dish:
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