A popular meat sauce meets a classic cocktail in this easy weeknight dinner. Yes, you read that right.
Weeknight. Bloody Mary.
Because who says Bloody Marys have to be reserved for Sunday brunches or hangovers?
There’s no reason to wait until the weekend to enjoy the flavors of this popular cocktail, so I’m taking all the best parts of a Bloody Mary and packing them right into one of the easiest weeknight dishes.
Bolognese is the ultimate way to transform an affordable pack of ground beef into something totally delicious. Traditional bolognese should simmer on the stove all day, but busy weekdays don’t allow me to do this. This quick version that is whipped up at the end of the day is just as tasty and flavorful. To elevate the simple sauce, I infused it with the best Bloody Mary mix I know. Toma is a winner because it is crafted with a unique flavor blend giving it a peppery and slightly smoky taste. Use whatever mix you love, but if you can grab some Toma, it’s a must-try!
Check out my recipe for a Hot Bloody Martini. It’s a cocktail that flips the traditional drink upside down, making the perfect happy hour treat.
I’m also giving the sauce hearty chunks of celery and pimento-stuffed olives, because what traditionally garnishes this cocktail should make a statement in this dish too. The texture of the celery and the boldness of the pimento-stuffed olives are so exciting here. To save time, I used a roll of pre-cooked polenta and simply crisped it up in a little olive oil until golden brown on both sides. The crispy polenta serves as a nourishing and unique base to the bolognese and it is a nice change from a pasta-loaded plate.Some shaved parmesan and a few celery leaves are so fitting on top!
This is more than just a meat sauce. Though quick to prepare, it still has a complex and comforting taste perfect for warming us up in this winter weather. And except for some of my eaters picking out the olives (tough luck, kiddies), it was a hit at our dinner table.
What’s going on your table tonight?
A popular meat sauce meets a classic cocktail in this easy weeknight dinner.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 small onion diced
- 2 garlic cloves minced
- 2 large celery stalks sliced, reserve leaves for garnish
- 14.5 ounces canned diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup Spanish Queen green olives sliced
- 1 tbsp Worcester sauce
- 1/2 tsp celery salt
- 3 tbsp vodka optional
- 3/4 cup Bloody Mary Mix
- salt and pepper to taste
- polenta roll cut into 1/4 inch slices
- parmesan cheese
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil to a skillet over medium-high temperature. Add onion and cook 3-4 minutes until soft.
Add ground beef to the pan and cook until browned. Drain excess fat off.
Add garlic and celery and cook for 2-3 minutes.
Pour in the canned tomatoes and all its juices. Stir to combine and continue cooking.
Add the olives, worcester sauce, and the celery salt. Stir to combine and increase heat to high.
Add vodka and stir to deglaze the pan. Cook for 4-5 minutes until the vodka has reduced.
Add in your favorite Bloody Mary Mix, like Toma, and stir to combine.
Let simmer for 5-10 minutes while you prepare the polenta.
Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan over medium-high heat. Add the slices of polenta and sauté about 3-5 minutes a side until they are golden brown.
Transfer the polenta to a plate. Top with a heaping spoonful of bolognese.
Garnish with celery leaves and fresh parmesan.