Start to fin­ish, this recipe takes 8 hours, mostly hands-off and none of it hard. You’ll make 18 cups of sauce—enough to serve 24 or to freeze for meals all win­ter long.

Midwest Living - - Best Chalet'ed Plans -

ON TAK­ING IT SLOW “MOST HOME COOKS RUSH THIS. DEEP BROWN­ING DE­VEL­OPS IR­RE­SISTIBLE DEPTH AND COM­PLEX­ITY OF FLA­VOR THAT WILL BE THE BACK­BONE OF THE DISH.” ON FIN­ISH­ING LIKE A PRO “DON'T JUST SPOON SAUCE ON PASTA. THE SKIL­LET MAR­RIES THE TWO. THE NOO­DLES AB­SORB SOME SAUCE, AND IT BE­COMES A UNI­FIED DISH.” ON BUILD­ING BLOCKS “WE USE THIS LIGHT AND SIM­PLE TOMATO SAUCE AS THE BASE FOR MANY PASTA DISHES. IT’S GREAT FOR PIZZA, TOO.” UMAMI BOMB “A Parme­san rind, a chunk of salami, a hand­ful of dried porcini mushrooms or a few an­chovies. What all of these have in com­mon is a deep, full sa­vori­ness that’s more of a feel­ing than a fla­vor. Throw in what­ever you have on hand. If you see them later, fish them out. But if they melt away and break down into the sauce, just leave them in.” ON HERBAGE “WE ADD HERBS LATER IN THE COOK­ING, BE­CAUSE WE WANT FRESH, BRIGHT GREEN NOTES.”


Heat oil in a 4-quart saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion and cook un­til ten­der but not brown, about 10 min­utes. Add gar­lic and cook un­til fra­grant, about 1 minute. Sea­son with salt and pep­per. Add toma­toes and their juice, crush­ing the toma­toes with your hands as you drop them in. Bring to boil­ing. Re­duce heat and sim­mer, un­cov­ered, about 20 min­utes. Puree sauce with an im­mer­sion blender, or let cool and puree in a blender in batches. Sea­son to taste. Set aside.


In a gi­ant (12- to 16-quart) stock pot, heat ba­con drip­pings or oil over medium-high heat. Brown 1 pound of meat at a time, break­ing it up with a wooden spoon and spread­ing it evenly in the pot. Cook meat un­til it is very brown and crisp. It will stick to the bot­tom of the pot—that’s ac­tu­ally what you want. Just keep scrap­ing it up vig­or­ously with the spoon so that it gets browned all over. Re­move meat from pot with a slot­ted spoon. Re­peat un­til all 8 pounds are browned. Re­turn all meat to the pot.


If you have one, use a food pro­ces­sor to chop all the veg­eta­bles. Add onion, cel­ery, car­rot and gar­lic to the meat in the pot. Cook over medium heat, stir­ring oc­ca­sion­ally, un­til veg­eta­bles are very soft, about 15 min­utes. Pour in the wine. Cook and stir un­til wine is re­duced by half. Add crushed red pep­per, all of the tomato sauce you made, the stock and the umami bomb of your choice. Sim­mer over low heat for 5 to 6 hours, re­duc­ing the Bolog­nese un­til thick and saucy. Stir every half hour or so, scrap­ing the bot­tom to pre­vent stick­ing. Sea­son as you go.


When the sauce is thick­ened and re­duced, add sage, rose­mary and oregano. Cook for 10 min­utes to dis­trib­ute the fla­vor. Cool sauce and di­vide into 3-cup por­tions to store. Chill for up to 3 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.


To serve 4, cook pasta in heav­ily salted water un­til just un­der al dente. Mean­while, heat sauce in a very large skil­let. If sauce is thin, re­duce it slightly; if it’s too thick, add a small amount of pasta cook­ing water. Add but­ter, Parme­san, parsley and a pinch of red pep­per, if de­sired. Add drained pasta; toss to coat. Cook 2 to 3 min­utes. Serve pip­ing hot with ad­di­tional parsley and cheese, if de­sired.

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