Ciao'd watching the CMA awards. Cue the beer and BBQ. With the pasta.
Bolognese sauce is a rich, soul-satisfying cloak for pasta, best with fettuccine or pappardelle as they are wide and long and thus, perfect vehicles for ferrying the bulky, unctuous sauce from plate to palate. This is a simple recipe but it's not quick. Make it on a weekend when you have time for it to simmer and infuse your kitchen with its rich, pungent aroma. And then enjoy it with a glass of robust red wine. #dolcevitadelish.
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 tablespoons butter plus 1 tablespoon for tossing the pasta
½ cup chopped onion
⅔ cup chopped celery
⅔ cup chopped carrot
¾ pound ground beef chuck (or you can use 1 part pork to 2 parts beef)
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole milk
1 cup dry white wine
1 ½ cups canned Italian plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, cut up, with their juice
1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds pasta
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, for serving at the table
In a large, deep skillet over medium heat, combine the oil, butter and chopped onion. Cook, stirring, until the onion becomes translucent. Add the celery and carrot and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring to coat the vegetables. Add the ground beef, a large pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Stir well and cook until the beef is just coke through.
Add the milk and let it simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has bubbled away completely. Add a tiny dash of nutmeg, and stir.
Add the wine, let it simmer until it has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and stir to coat all ingredients well. 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 from time to time. 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. Marcella Hazan, Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, Alfred A. Knopf, 1982.