A long time ago (back in 2004), I posted about Hazan's Bolognese Meat Sauce... but I did not post the recipe. Then back in July this past year, "jeex" asked if I would finally post the recipe.
So tonight, with some ground beef that needed to be used (or lost), I put a pot of bolognese on the stove to serve as dinner for later this week. It's perfect for cold winter nights. I like to make double batches and freeze some to have later as a fast dinner.
Okay, I can be slow, but I get there eventually... Here it is, from one of my favorite Italian chefs! (click the "continue" link)
Bolognese Meat Sauce
Marcella Hazan from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
1 Tbs vegetable oil (I use olive oil)
3 Tbs butter plus 1 Tbs for tossing the pasta
1/2 C. chopped onion
2/3 C. chopped celery (do NOT leave this out, even if you dislike celery; it's been tried with bad results)
2/3 C. chopped carrot
3/4 pound ground beef chuck
1 C. whole milk
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg
1 C. dry white wine
1 1/2 C canned Italian plum tomatoes, cut in with their juice
freshly graded parmigiano-reggiano cheese
Pasta of choice: tagliatelle, but works equally well with rigatoni, fusilli, and conchiglie
1. Put oil and butter in a pot with chopped onion. Turn heat on to medium. Cook and stir onion until translucent. Add chopped celery and carrot. Cook for 2 minutes more, stirring the vegetables to coat them well.
2. Add ground beef, a large pinch of salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Break up the meat and stir well, cooking until the beef has lost its raw, red color.
3. Add the milk and let simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has bubbled away completely. This can take a while. Add the 1/8 tsp of grated nutmeg and stir.
4. Add the wine and let simmer until it has evaporated. This can take a while. Add tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all ingredients. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn heat down so that the sauce cooks at the laziest simmer with ocassional bubbles breaking. Cook uncovered for 3 hours or more, stirring from time to time. If the sauce begins to dry out and the fat separates from the meat, add 1/2 C of water to keep it from sticking to the pot. At the end, however, no water should remain and the fat must be separate from the sauce. Taste and correct for salt.
5. To serve: toss with cooked drained pasta, adding the final tablespoon of butter. Serve with the parmesan on the side. Hazan uses 1 1/4 lb of fresh pasta. I just cook what I think is enough for the meal and let people mix their own.
If you're going to freeze the sauce, don't toss it with pasta. When you do serve it, reheat it and simmer for 15 minutes before adding pasta.
Hazan says you can use 1 part pork to 2 parts beef for a tastier sauce, but I haven't tried that yet. She also says don't use too lean of a meat cut. The more marbled, the sweeter the ragu.