Yield: 4-6 servings
Time: at least 4 hours (about 1 hour active)
This is the meat sauce I make every time I look at Marcella Hazan’s classic bolognese meat sauce recipe. And although the proportion of ingredients is a bit different, the technique is 100% hers. Grazie.
You can use a slow cooker (with a stovetop-safe vessel) or instant pot to make this if you want to walk away during the many hours that the sauce simmers.
- 1 T vegetable oil
- 3 T butter, plus 1 T for tossing the pasta
- 1/2 c chopped onion
- 2/3 c chopped celery
- 2/3 c chopped carrot
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- salt, pepper
- 1 c milk
- nutmeg grated from whole nutmeg
- 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
- 1 c white vermouth
- 2 28oz cans chopped tomatoes
- 1 lb spaghetti
- freshly grated parmigiano, at the table
- Add the oil, butter, and chopped onion to the pot and turn the heat to medium. Cook and stir the onion until it has become translucent, then add the chopped celery and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring vegetables to coat them well.
- Add ground beef and pork, a large pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Crumble the meat, stir well and cook until the ground meat has lost its raw, red color.
- Add milk and let it simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has bubbled away completely. Add fennel and a tiny grating of nutmeg, and stir.
- Add vermouth, let it simmer until it has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly 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. (If you’re using a slow cooker, move the vessel from the stovetop to the slow cooker set to low; if you’re using an instant pot, change from saute high to slow cook low)
- Cook, uncovered, for 3 hours or more, stirring from time to time. If, while the sauce is cooking, you notice that the sauce appears to be drying out, add some water, up to 1/2 cup as necessary. At the end, however, no water at all must be left. Taste and correct for salt.
- Toss with cooked drained pasta, adding the tablespoon of butter, and serve with freshly grated Parmesan.
Source: adapted from Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese Meat Sauce, found in her cookbook Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking