Pasta with meat sauce is a favorite comfort dish. I’ve made it a million times when I wanted something familiar and filling or when I was short on cash. I used to just open a jar of commercial spaghetti sauce, add some basic spices, and heat it up in five minutes. Now I start from scratch, so I can jazz it up a bit, to make it memorable. Traditional Bolognese is often served with pappardelle–a flat wide pasta–but wide egg noodles are easier to find in the supermarket. Check out my daughter’s Italian-Style Meat Sauce for a stripped down substitute for classic Bolognese. Hers cooks about thirty minutes quicker and does not contain alcohol or dairy.
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 small diced onion
1 carrot, diced
1 minced celery stalk
1 pound extra-lean (90/10) ground beef
1/2 pound pork sausage, casings removed and discarded
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
ground black pepper
1 cup red wine
14-ounces crushed tomatoes
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup beef broth
medium (10-inch) skillet, with lid
measuring cups and spoons
1. Cook onion, carrot, and celery with butter and oil in skillet over low heat, stirring frequently, until vegetables are tender–about 5 minutes.
2. Add beef and sausage. Season with red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper. Break up meat and stir frequently until beef is no longer pink.
3. Add wine. Let simmer until liquid reduces–about 5 minutes.
4. Stir in tomatoes and heavy cream. Cover and simmer for at least 1 hour to allow the flavors to meld. Stir occasionally. If sauce reduces too quickly, stir in a little beef broth.
NOTES & TIPS
• Using 90% lean beef ensures the sauce won’t turn out too greasy.
• No fresh celery? Use 2 teaspoons celery seed.
• Use whatever type of wine you like to drink, instead of supermarket cooking wine.