Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Ugliest and Most Awesome Sauce EVER

OK, I don't have a photo to go along with this post 1. because I forgot, and 2. because the sauce is pretty ugly in comparison to its more sexy tomato sauce cousins. But I promise you it is the most DELICIOUS sauce ever: Mark Bittman's version of Bolognese from How to Cook Everything. I had it first when my mom came out and cooked for us, etc. shortly after Goo was born. In the past month I've made it twice - once to go simply over pasta, second as part of a somewhat improvised but turned-out-pretty-great lasagna. In the past I have eaten it over leftover mashed potatoes because I had no pasta. I have eaten the last leftover spoonfuls of sauce by itself.

You need a good amount of time (3 hours +) to do this right, but the majority of the work is basic prep, the rest is cake (mmm, cake).

2 tbsp e.v. olive oil
1 chopped onion
1 chopped carrot
1 chopped celery stalk
1/4 c chopped bacon or pancetta
1 lb ground meat - beef, or a mixture of beef and pork
3/4 c dry white wine or juice from tomatoes (or... I added a splash of red wine in addition to the juice from the tomatoes; it worked)
One 28 or 35 oz can whole plum tomatoes
1 c stock (beef or chicken)
salt and pepper
1 c cream, half and half or milk
Freshly grated Parmesan (optional - honestly, you don't need it)

Olive oil over deep skillet or saucepan (or Dutch oven) over med-low; when hot, add onion, carrot, celery and bacon. Cook for 10 minutes or so until veggies are softened. Add meat, cook stir to break up clumps, about 5 minutes. Add wine/juice, raise heat a little and cook, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes for most of liquid to evaporate. Crush tomatoes (your hands work best) and add, then add stock. Turn heat to low and let simmer for about an hour - make sure to stir a couple times to break up any meat clumps or chunks of tomato. Then add some salt and pepper to taste and cook for at least another hour. When it's done, the sauce should be thick and most of the liquid should be gone. Add cream, cook 15-30 minutes, stir occasionally. Serve with/in desired medium! AMAZING.

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