Recipe: MEAT SAUCE BOLOGNESE (Sugo alla Bolognese)
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, minced (about 1 cup)
- 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely shredded (about 1/2 cup)
- 1/2 cup minced celery with leaves
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1pound ground pork
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 3 cups canned Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), with their liquid, crushed
- 3 bay leaves
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 4 cups hot water, or as needed
Bolognese is a very versatile sauce.
This recipe makes enough sauce to dress 1 1/2 pounds of dried pasta or one-and-a-half recipes tagliatelle — good for feeding a hungry crowd. It also freezes well it you’d like to enjoy it in smaller quantities. Warm the sauce while the pasta is cooking and toss it with the cooked pasta, adding a little of the pasta cooking water if necessary to make a creamy sauce. Toss in some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano just before you serve it.
Heat the olive oil in a wide, 3 to 4-quart pan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Stir in the onion, carrot and celery, season them lightly with salt and cook, stirring, until the onion is translucent, about 4 minutes. Crumble in the ground beef and pork and continue cooking, stirring to break up the meat, until all the liquid the meat has given off is evaporated and the meat is lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Pour in the wine and cook, scraping the bottom of the pan, until the wine is evaporated, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook a few minutes. Pour in the tomatoes, toss in the bay leaves and season lightly with salt and pepper.
Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the sauce is at a lively simmer. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is dense but juicy and a rich, dark red color. (Most likely, a noticeable layer of oil will float to the top toward the end of cooking.) This will take about 2 to 3 hours-the longer you cook it, the better it will become. While the sauce is cooking, add hot water as necessary to keep the meats and vegetables covered. The oil can be removed with a spoon or reincorporated in the sauce, which is done traditionally.
To Serve two:
Makes 6 cups, enough to dress about 1 1/2 pounds dried pasta