04/17/2010 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Eat In Week: Bolognese for Days

New York City...bright lights, bustling streets, and endless amounts of
mouth-watering restaurants. To any foodie, New York City is considered
Mecca, filled with the best restaurants to indulge in. To anyone with a
hunger pain on their way home from a 12-hour day, it's a quick fix
supplied by an overabundance of Chinese, Italian, American, and
Mexican eateries.

A majority of New Yorkers don't cook. Trust me; I used to be one. Tiny
kitchens and long work days make takeout a nightly ritual along with
your favorite TV show. It's so easy to pick up a bagged meal since on
any given block you have about ten options to pick from. But what may
seem like a good idea in the moment is actually a bad idea for your
body and the planet. With every to-go meal you are creating extra
waste from takeout containers (64% of the waste created by fast food
restaurants is paper and plastic from the packaging) and often times
eating low quality ingredients that you can't monitor.

Like I said, I never used to cook. I lived in a small Greenwich
Village apartment with two other girls and dinner often consisted on
Pinkberry. I would pick up a Starbucks mocha on the way to work, head
to the deli for lunch, and pick up something indulgent on the way home
(see Pinkberry). I did this for about three years....I know, gross. It
wasn't until I started having Sunday night dinner parties with my
boyfriend that I actually started cooking. We'd all pitch in some
money, head to the store (with a reusable bag, natch), cook up a
recipe together, and sit down for a nice meal. From there I started
exploring cooking more with local (= less CO2 emitted by shipping) and
organic (= no pesticides) ingredients and now it has become my Xanax.
After a long day, I love coming home, having a glass of wine, and
throwing together ingredients to make a home cooked meal. It's so
relaxing...or maybe that's the wine talking.

In honor of Eat In Week, I'm sharing a recipe of one of my favorite
dinners/lunch leftovers. Classic Bolognese Sauce. Let me just start
this off by saying that I'm a sauce snob. I grew up eating my Italian
grandmother's fresh pasta with her amazing sauce that no one to this
day can replicate. Needless to say, jars of the bland red stuff just
don't cut it. So for years I just simply didn't eat pasta...nothing
could live up to hers and frankly anything else tasted bad on my Italian-trained
palate. Recently I started experimenting with homemade Bolognese
sauces and finally found one that comes in a close second to my
Nonna's. It's dummy proof, mouth watering, and you can even freeze the
leftover sauce.

Classic Bolognese Sauce

  • 1 chopped organic carrot, peeled
  • 1 small organic chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup organic extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove minced or finely chopped organic garlic
  • 1 lb organic, grass-fed ground beef
  • 1/2 cup organic tomato paste
  • 1 Tb organic flour
  • 1/2 cup organic dry white wine
  • 4 cups organic chicken stock
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper

Finely chop the carrot and onion. Heat half the oil in a large pot,
add the chopped vegetables, and sauté over medium heat for 10 minutes.
Add garlic; let it cook for about 2 minutes. Add the ground meat,
stirring frequently, until it is evenly browned, about 10 minutes. Add
paste stirring until blended and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the flour
and cook for another 2 minutes. Raise the heat, add the wine, and stir
in the stock, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, lower the heat and
simmer, uncovered, for 1 hour to thicken, stirring from time to time.
Serve with your favorite pasta. I used my go-to stash of pappardelle,
a broad, flat noodle.

Freeze what you don't eat or pack it up for lunch the next day. Trust me; your cube-mates will be jealous.

Follow Brianne DiSylvester at Get Fork'd, her local and organic
focused food blog.

Stat references can be found here.