We often embrace the Italian-American practice and serve it on long dried pasta, like spaghetti
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups minced yellow onions
1/2 cup diced carrot
1/2 cup diced celery
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 pound ground beef (preferably ground chuck)
1/2 pound ground veal
1/2 pound ground pork
1/4 pound chicken livers, finely chopped
2 cups tomato sauce
1 3/4 cups beef stock
1 cup dry white wine
freshly grated nutmeg to taste
1. Heat olive oil over moderate heat in large saucepan. Add onions, stir, and cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, until onions are wilted and light golden. Uncover and continue cooking for another 15 minutes, until onions are golden and lightly caramelized. (Watch carefully, so the onions don't burn.) Add carrot, celery, kosher salt, and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Add ground beef, veal, and pork and crumble with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook until meat is no longer pink, and add chicken livers. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add tomato sauce, 1 cup beef stock, and white wine. Stir well and simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 1 1/2 hours. (The sauce should barely bubble.) Add remaining beef stock, stir, and continue simmering for another 1 1/2 hours. Add nutmeg, and adjust seasoning.
Note: You may be surprised at how thick and meaty this sauce is. Its heartiness makes it perfect for the lasagne verde bolognese, which appears on page 162. If the sauce is to be used on a bowl of pasta, like tagliatelle, however, it can be thinned with a little water during the last half hour of cooking. Some chefs even add a little cream just before the sauce is finished.
Meat sauce is on the menu of almost every Italian-American restaurant, but this classic meat sauce -- from Bologna, in the great gastronomic region of Emilia-Romagna -- is the granddaddy of them all. It takes hours to make, but its incomparable depth is worth the time. Its classic partner is tagliatelle, but it's also good on little stuffed pasta shapes, like tortellini. Additionally, we often embrace the Italian-American practice and serve it on long dried pasta, like spaghetti. Makes 6 cups