Okay, so I Italianized my name to append to this recipe for a rich, meaty bolognese sauce. Inspiration came after spending $13 on a pint of this liquid gold from our favorite local trattoria, and my resolve to match their sauce turned out what my husband said ‘hit it out of the park.’ I’ve since made it six or seven times, enough in each batch for 8-10 very hearty portions over fettuccine. It freezes well in ziploc bags, so I like to store them with two soup ladles each – about two cups – for an on-the-fly midweek dinner.
Makes enough for 8-10 Hearty Servings over Fettuccine
4 T extra virgin olive oil
1 T unsalted butter
2 medium sweet onions finely chopped
3 medium carrots finely chopped
4 ribs celery finely chopped
5 cloves garlic thinly sliced
Sea salt or Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1 lb ground veal
1 lb ground pork
1/4 lb pancetta diced 1/4″
2 cups dry white wine
1 cup whole milk (or half & half mixed with low-fat milk)
1 28 ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, including liquid, crushed by hand
1 6-oz can Italian tomato paste
1 tsp thyme
1/4 tsp nutmeg
In 6-8 quart Dutch oven, heat olive oil and butter on medium and sauté the chopped vegetables with a pinch of salt until completely softened and most liquid as been evaporated. Add the diced pancetta and continue to sauté at least another ten minutes.
Increase heat to medium high and add the meats, 1/3 at a time, pressing down with the back of a wooden spoon after each addition to break up any lumps. After the last addition, continue stirring occasionally until all liquid is evaporated and meats begin to caramelize. Don’t rush it – the more this simmers, the better it will taste, and when you next add the 1 cup of white wine to deglaze the pan until it’s completely evaporated, you’ll be able to scrape up any goodness that may have stuck to the bottom of your pan.
Add the milk, tomatoes & tomato paste, and 2nd cup of white wine, 1 t salt, thyme, nutmeg, and generous grinding of pepper. Bring to a boil, then lower heat to lowest possible setting, and let simmer half-covered for 3-4 hours. Stir once in a while. A dinner portion should be a one-cup ladle over 4 ounces fettuccine.