In many restaurants bolognese is touted as a red sauce, but in traditional recipes there is really only a very small amount of tomato added. It gains it's depth of flavor through the combination of meats used and slow simmering. There's also a debate about whether red or white wine is best. I prefer white. I think bolognese is similar to American meatloaf, there are as many ways to make the perfect recipe as there are people who make it.
I made this first for the husband and I and then again for his grandparents on a lovely weekend trip up to Maryland. It's been a hit both times and I think it will be a solid addition to the "recipes-we-eat-frequently" category.
The first time I ladled it over an achingly tender tagliarelle pasta from Cipriani. The pasta is a little on the spendy side, but I think it's more than worth the occasional splurge.
I also like to add in the rind of a hard cheese like Parmigiana-Reggiano during the simmering if I've got it lying around. I think it adds a lot to the depth of flavor in the sauce.
inspired by Gourmet magazine
Yields about 8 cups
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 medium yellow onions, chopped fine
4 celery ribs, chopped fine
2 carrots, chopped fine
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 oz pancetta, chopped
16 oz ground beef
16 oz ground pork
12 oz tomato paste
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 cups white wine
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
In a non-stick pan over medium-high heat cook the onion, celery and carrots until softened. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant. Push the vegetables to the sides of the pan and brown the meat in the center, incorporating the vegetables as it cooks. Add tomato paste, cream, and white wine and bring to a simmer. Simmer over low heat until thick and flavors deepen, about 1 hour. Season to taste with kosher salt and pepper. Serve over fresh pasta.