Semi-homemade makes this tasty and quick. Fennel is the secret ingredient that makes it taste like it’s been simmering on the stove all day. Don’t be intimidated by the long list of ingredients – they’re mostly herbs that you should have in your pantry.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Total time: 40 minutes
Yield: Serves 6
1 lb. ground beef
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
2 tsp. whole fennel seeds
1/2 tsp. salt
3–4 cloves crushed garlic
1 25-oz. can of your favorite chunky pasta sauce (I used Trader Joe’s Roasted Garlic)
1 15-oz. can tomato sauce
Parmesan Cheese optional
fresh basil to garnish
crushed red pepper flakes
1 16-oz. bag of Fusilli rice pasta (Tinkyada brand is best)
- Add beef to a large, deep skillet set on medium high heat. Immediately add oregano, basil, fennel and salt. Cook together until beef is browned. Add crushed garlic and cook a moment longer. Tip skillet and drain off as much liquid/fat as you can, holding a lid over the meat.
- Add pasta sauces to skillet with meat and bring to a boil Simmer for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- In the meantime, cook pasta is 4 1/2 quarts of salted, boiling water. When you add the pasta to the water, drizzle in about 1 T olive oil and immediately stir. Cook for 8–10 minutes. Rice pasta can get very starchy, so stir it every few minutes to avoid sticking. When pasta is done, drain in colander and drizzle a bit more olive oil over and stir to coat.
- Plate pasta and top with a generous ladle of meat sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese if desired, along with pepper flakes and a basil garnish.