I needed something hot, filling, and relatively fast. I also had a 1lb hunk of ground beef that had been defrosted with the intent of making stroganoff. However, I did not have all of the ingredients, and thus needed something else to do with this defrosted meat. After looking through a variety of cookbooks, I settled on this recipe from Cucina Italia:
Little Ears with Fresh Tomato and Lean Beef Sauce
6 T EVOO
3/4 lb ground beef
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
2.5 lb ripe Roma tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped*
1 lb orecchiette pasta (little shells)
handful fresh basil leaves, chopped**
Grated Romano cheese
*I used home canned tomatoes in juice
**I used Penzey's dried basil as I didn't have fresh on hand
Place 2T of the EVOO in a large saute pan. Add the ground beef and cook over low heat until the meat loses its raw color. Drain off excess fat and season with salt to taste. Put the remaining 4T of EVOO in the saute pan. Ad the garlic and cook over low heat for a few minutes until garlic turns opaque. Add the tomatoes, season with salt to taste, raise heat to medium high, and cook until the tomatoes lose their excess juice and break down into a sauce, about 15min. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente and drain well. Place the pasta in a serving bowl, toss with the sauce, chopped basils, and about 1/4 cup of cheese. Serve immediately.
I really liked this sauce. It was very simple and tasty and went together very quickly. Nate also agreed that this can go into the quick meal list. Even with the modifications, it had a lot of flavor, and I'm sure it would be even better with fresh ingredients.