Bolognese Sauce

Francesca - posted on 02/07/2009 ( no moms have responded yet )

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6 to 8 ounces (150-200 g) ground beef - it shouldn't be too lean, or the sugo will be dry

2 ounces (50 g) pancetta, minced (optional; if you omit it increase the beef)

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

A quarter of a medium-sized onion, minced

A half a carrot, minced

A six-inch stalk of celery, minced

1/2 cup dry red wine

3/4 cup crushed tomatoes or 2 tablespoons tomato paste dissolved in 1/2 cup water

Beef broth (If you don't have any, dissolve half a bouillon cube in a cup of boiling water)

A pinch of salt

A pound (500 g) of pasta.

Grated Parmigiano.

Preparation:

If you omit the pancetta you will want the full 8 ounces of meat.



If you are using it, mince it and the vegetables, and sauté them in a casserole or Dutch oven with the oil. When the onion is golden, add the ground meat and continue cooking till it's browned. Stir in the wine and let the sauce simmer till the wine has evaporated, then add the tomatoes, a ladle of broth, and check the seasoning. Continue simmering over a very low flame for about two hours, stirring occasionally, and adding more broth if the sugo looks like it's drying out.



The sugo will improve steadily as it cooks, and if you have the time simmer it longer - Artusi suggests it be simmered for six hours, adding boiling water or broth as necessary. When it is done it should be rich and thick.



This meat sauce will serve about six as the topping for a first course of pasta or gnocchi, or about four if served over pasta with a tossed salad on the side; in either case serve it with grated Parmigiano

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