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Italian Bolognese Sauce

An Olive Oil Recipe

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Prep Information

Prep Time

15 minutes

Cook Time

270 minutes

Serves

8 people

Ingredients

  • 2 Tablespoons Frantoio or Frantoio/Leccino EVOO
  • 1/4 cup Butter Olive Oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 2 large celery stalks, finely diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely diced
  • 4.5 oz. diced pancetta
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 2.2 lb. lean ground meat (veal, pork and beef or just beef)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1-28 0z. can whole tomatoes, San Marzano, if possible
  • 1 cup beef stock

Instructions

  • Heat the Butter Olive Oil and Frantoio or Frantoio/Leccino Olive Oil together in a large saucepan over medium heat.
  • Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and about 1/2 teaspoons salt and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • Add the diced pancetta and cook for 10 minutes more, until vegetables are softened and pancetta is golden brown.
  • Increase the heat to high and add the meat a little at a time, stirring and breaking lumps with a spoon between each addition. Adding the meat slowly allows its liquid to evaporate so you're browning the meat, not boiling it. After the last addition and when there are no lumps and you don't see any pink, allow the meat to caramelize and become crispy in spots, about 15 minutes. More liquids will evaporate and flavors will concentrate. You want little bits of meat to stick to the bottom of your pan, which will be deglazed later. Don't let the meat burn. When the meat really caramelizes well, lower the heat to medium for the last 8-9 minutes of cooking.
  • Continuing with the medium heat, pour the white wine into the sauce pan. With a wooden spoon, scrape all the brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, pushing the meat all around to make sure you scrape it all off. In 2-3 minutes, the wine will be evaporated. Take care not to let the meat stick to the bottom of the pan again, lowering the heat, if necessary.
  • Add milk, diced tomatoes and their liquid, beef stock, 1 teaspoon salt and a good grinding of black pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower to the lowest heat and let simmer very slowly, half-covered, for 4 hours. Stir the mixture now and then. If the meat starts to stick before the end of the 4 hours, add a little water or stock. The sauce should end up being thick like oatmeal. Adjust the seasoning once more.
  • To serve, reheat the sauce, add a pat of butter and about 2 Tablespoons freshly grated parmiggiano-reggiano per serving. These last additions add a wonderful creamy taste. Cook the pasta, drain thoroughly and return to pot. Spoon the sauce over the pasta, just enough to coat the pasta. Serve in bowls with a few leaves of basil on top and more freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano, to taste.
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