Pasta & Easy Italian Meat Sauce

Pasta & Easy Italian Meat Sauce

This recipe came from my sister, Amanda Easley Criss, from Slate Spring, Mississippi. Amanda sent me this recipe and said that she and her husband, Jody, really enjoyed it for dinner the other night. She originally got the recipe from the Martha Stewart Living website, then cut back on the fat to make it a little lighter.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 carrot, grated (about 1/2 cup)
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 pound ground beef
1 can (28 ounces) whole tomatoes
1/2 cup milk
1 dried bay leaf
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme (Amanda said that she substituted oregano & basil for the thyme)
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Coarse salt and ground pepper
1 pound fettuccine
Grated Parmesan, for serving

Heat oil in a large saucepan over medium. Stir in carrot, onion, and garlic. Add ground beef, and cook until it turns from pink to brown, about 5 minutes.

Add tomatoes and their liquid, crushing them with the back of a large spoon. Stir in milk, bay leaf, thyme, nutmeg, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Simmer 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook fettuccine until al dente according to package instructions, about 12 minutes. Reserve about 1/2 cup of the cooking water; drain fettuccine, and return to the warm pot. Add meat sauce, and toss. Add pasta water as needed if the sauce seems dry. To serve, sprinkle with Parmesan.