I was initially hesitant about this sauce because it did not seem to have enough tomato in it—but it was still fabulous!! Aaron was in LOVE with this sauce (and he works at a really good Italian restaurant). I may try it sometime with some tomato sauce in it, just for a variation, but it was definitely yummy as is. I served with some parmesan garlic bread. And for dessert—we are having raspberry crumble bars (with chocolate chips).
With beef as the main ingredient and surprisingly little tomato, the many subtle tastes in this famous sauce come together beautifully:
Makes enough for 1 pound of pasta
Heat in a large saucepan over medium-low heat:
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 ounce pancetta, finely chopped (optional)–I skipped this step because I forgot to pick up pancetta–I definitely want to try it with this next time
Cook, stirring until the pancetta releases its fat but is not browned, about 8 minutes. Increase the heat to medium and add:
1 large carrot, peeled and minced
2 small celery stalks, minced
1/2 medium onion, minced
Cook, stirring, until the onions are translucent, about 5 minutes.
Add and brown:
1 1/4 pounds coarsely ground beef skirt steak or very lean ground chuck
3/4 cup chicken or beef stock (I used beef)
2/3 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Two of my favorite cooking products: 2 buck Chuck from TJ’s for cooking and tomato paste in a tube (from Monsieur Marcel gourmet grocery store at the L.A Farmer’s Market)
Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, partially covered and skimming occasionally, until the sauce is the consistency of thick soup, about 2 hours. From time to time as the sauce simmers, add, 2 tablespoons at a time:
1 1/2 cups whole milk
Let cool, cover, and refrigerate for up to 24 hours. Skim the fat off the top before reheating.