Prep 20 mins
Cook 4 hrs
Oh, Bolognese! Savor this sauce, made the old-fashioned way, with multiple layers that add an indefinable complexity and depth of flavor that just can’t be achieved by the new “quicker” recipes. As the sauce simmers, savor the aroma as it fills your house, speaking of home and comfort and warmth and nourishment. This sauce is love. Enjoy!
- 1⁄4 cup olive oil
- 1⁄2 cup chopped onion, about 1 medium onion
- 4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 2⁄3 cup chopped celery
- 2⁄3 cup chopped carrot
- 1 lb ground chuck (or you can use 1 part pork to 2 parts beef)
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 1⁄2 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
- 1⁄4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, chopped
- 8 fresh basil leaves, chopped
- 1 1⁄4-1 1⁄2 lbs pasta, cooked
- 1 tablespoon butter
- freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, at the table
- In a large skillet heat the olive oil. When almost smoking, add the onion and garlic and sauté over medium heat until the onions become very soft, about 8 minutes. Then add the chopped celery and carrot. Cook for 5minutes, stirring vegetables to coat them well.
- Raise heat to high and add ground beef, a large pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Crumble the meat with a fork, stir well and cook until the beef has lost its raw, red color, about 10 minutes.
- Add milk and simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has bubbled away completely.
- Add the wine and simmer until it has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all ingredients well. Add the parsley and basil. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down so that the sauce cooks at the laziest of simmers, with just an intermittent bubble breaking through to the surface. Cook, uncovered, for 3 hours or more, stirring occasionally. While the sauce is cooking, you are likely to find that it begins to dry out and the fat separates from the meat. To keep it from sticking, add 1/2 cup of water whenever necessary. At the end, however, no water at all must be left and the fat must separate from the sauce. Taste and correct for salt.
- Toss with cooked drained pasta, adding the tablespoon of butter, and serve with freshly grated Parmesan on the side.