Bolognese

  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 carrots, minced
  • 2 celery stalks, minced
  • 2 garlic gloves, minced
  • ¾ pound meatloaf mix or 1/4 pound each ground beef chuck, ground veal, and ground pork
  • ½ teaspoon Table salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • (28 ounce) can tomatoes, chopped fine (“crushed” texture), with juice strained and reserved
  • 1 porcini or beef bouillon cube

Makes 3 cups for 1lb pasta

Don’t drain the pasta of its cooking water too meticulously when using this sauce; a little water left clinging to the noodles will help distribute the very thick sauce evenly into the noodles, as will adding an extra 2 tablespoons of butter along with the sauce. Top each serving with a little grated Parmesan and pass extra grated cheese at the table. If doubling this recipe, increase the simmering times for the milk and the wine to 30 minutes each, and the simmering time once the tomatoes are added to 4 hours.

  1. Add wine to non-reactive saucepan and simmer until reduced to half.
  2. Heat butter in large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion, carrot, and celery and sautè until softened but not browned, about 6 minutes. Sautè garlic until fragrant.
  3. Add ground meat and 1/2 teaspoon salt; crumble meat with edge of wooden spoon to break apart into tiny pieces. Cook, continuing to crumble meat, just until it loses its raw color but has not yet browned.
  4. Add milk and bring to simmer; continue to simmer until milk evaporates and only clear fat remains, 10 to 15 minutes.
  5. Add tomatoes and bouillon cube and bring to simmer; reduce heat to medium low, until sauce has thickened, 15 minutes.
  6. Add reduced wine and simmer another 5 minutes to meld flavors.
  7. Adjust seasonings with extra salt to taste and serve. (Can be refrigerated in an airtight container for several days or frozen for several months. Warm over low heat before serving.)