Meat sauce, for me, goes right alongside lasagna and chili, in the 'I can do without it' category. But since those are some of my husband's favourite things, I still tend to make them once in a while. Tonight, I discovered a meat sauce making method that I can really get behind: roasting it in the oven!
The recipe that got me onto this method was Mark Bittman's Pasta with Roasted Eggplant and Meat Sauce, but I realize it could really be done with any collection of meat sauce ingredients. Heat the oven to quite hot (425F) and add toss finely chopped vegetables (the eggplant was excellent), including onion and garlic, with ground meat (in this case lamb). Roast for 40 minutes or so, stirring occasionally, and then add some fresh or canned tomatoes, tomato paste, spices and a splash of red wine, and return to the oven for another ten minutes or so. Thin with a bit of pasta cooking water and serve with the pasta of your choice (I chose Artesian Acres kamut garlic parsley linguine from Dad's Organic Market). The result was densely flavoured, and deliciously 'roasty'. I feel like I've discovered a whole new world of bolognese—bolognese and beyond!