• ¼ cup neutral oil, such as canola or vegetable

  • 1 large yellow onion, diced into ½-inch pieces

  • Salt and black pepper

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 1 pound ground beef

  • 1 cup dry white wine (I've used rosé and red wine for this recipe too and works great, it don't matter!)

  • 3 cups chicken stock or water (we use homemade chicken stock cuz we're freaks and do that)

  • ¾ cup Half & half

  • ¼ cup hot sauce (Valentina is my fave)

  • 2 teaspoons hot smoked paprika

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 8 ounces elbow pasta

  • 6 slices American cheese, ripped into small pieces

  • 1½ cups grated Cheddar

  • ½ cup finely chopped chives 


Step 1
Heat a large (12-inch) sauté pan or Dutch oven over medium-low, and add oil and onion; season lightly with salt and pepper. (The hot sauce added in Step 6 will add a lot of flavor, so be careful not to overseason here.) Let cook until the onions turn light beige in color and begin to caramelize 20 to 25 minutes. This is a game of PATIENCE, the longer you really let these caramelize the tastier it'll be.

Step 2
Add garlic and cook until fragrant and starting to brown ever so slightly, about 2 minutes.

Step 3
Increase heat to medium-high cook ground beef, using the back of a large spoon to break up the meat into smaller pieces. Continue to cook until the liquid has mostly evaporated and the meat starts to sear and develop a crust on the bottom of the pan, 12 to 15 minutes.

Step 4
Remove pan from the heat and carefully drain off most of the fat, leaving a little in the pan to keep the meat moist.

Step 5
Return pan to medium-high heat and add white wine, allowing it to reduce until the mixture is almost dry, about 10 minutes.

Step 6
Add the chicken stock, heavy cream, hot sauce, paprika and bay leaf to the pan. Mix until combined and bring to a boil.

Step 7
Once the mixture is boiling, add the pasta and cook until al dente, stirring often, about 9 minutes.

Step 8
Reduce the heat to low and stir in cheese, stirring until completely melted and the sauce is thickened.

Step 9
Remove the pan from heat, stir in chives and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.