I can’t think of a dish more soothing or suitable for frigid winter days than Spaghetti Bolognese. So when I recently invited friends over for a casual Saturday night supper, I set aside an afternoon three days ahead when I was at home writing to simmer this wonderfully satisfying sauce with ground meat and tomatoes as its base, giving it time to simmer for several hours and then mellow before the dinner party.
I combined a couple of recipes I’ve tried to come up with what I feel is the definitive version.
This makes enough for at least 1 lb/500g of pasta, probably with some left over.
Use all ground beef if you wish. Imported Italian canned tomatoes work best, if possible San Romano.
3 tbsp olive oil
1 lb/500g ground beef
½ lb/250g ground pork
1 tsp kosher salt, or to taste
1 medium onion, chopped,
2 medium carrots, chopped
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 cup dry white wine
½ cup milk
Two 28-oz/795 mL cans tomatoes
1 tbsp dried basil
1 tsp dried oregano
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in large heavy saucepan over medium-high heat. Add beef, pork and salt; cook, mashing with potato masher and stirring with wooden spoon at intervals, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to bowl.
Reduce heat to medium-low. Add remaining olive oil to saucepan, then onion and carrots. Cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic; cook about 2 minutes more.
Return beef/pork mixture to saucepan. Add wine; cook over medium heat until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add milk; cook until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high. Add tomatoes, basil and oregano. Bring to boil, stirring; reduce heat to very low and simmer, partially covered, 3 to 4 hours or until sauce is rich and thick. Add salt and pepper.
Serve over spaghetti or other pasta. Pass grated Parmesan and/or Romano cheese on the side.
Makes 6 to 8 servings.