This classic Italian dish is meant to be cooked for a long period of time. It's rustic & comforting yet elegant enough to serve to guests. Start it in the afternoon & let the sauce simmer on the stove all afternoon, perfect for a Sunday dinner! Slowly cooking & adding a little cream at the end produces a beautifully rich & thick meat sauce. This is traditionally served with Tagliatelle (Italians say never with Spaghetti!) but I love it with Fettuccine! Ingredients:
2-3 oz of Pancetta or Bacon, chopped
1 medium Onion, finely chopped
1 small/ medium Carrot, finely chopped
1 Celery Stalk, finely chopped
2 cloves of Garlic, minced
1 lb Lean Ground Beef
28 oz can diced Tomatoes
8 oz can Tomato Sauce
6 oz can Tomato Paste
6 oz can Water
1 Beef Bouillon Cube
1/2 tsp dried Thyme
1/2 tsp dried Oregano
1 tsp Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley, chopped
2-3 tbsp Half & Half or Heavy Cream
Salt & Pepper
Olive Oil (if needed)
Parmesan Cheese, freshly grated
In a large pot or dutch oven, cook the pancetta or bacon ( I used 3 stripes of Bacon) over medium heat. When the bacon is mostly cooked, add the chopped onion, celery & carrot. Cook until the veggies are soft. You may need to add some olive oil, depending on the fat content of your bacon. I didn't need to add any.
Add the garlic & ground beef. Season with salt & pepper. Cook until the beef is no longer pink.
Add the diced tomatoes with all their juices, the tomato sauce, & the tomato paste. Using the can from the tomato paste, add the water. Stir to incorporate. Add the bouillon cube, thyme & oregano.
Cook until it starts bubbling. Then turn the heat to low & cover. Simmer on low for as long as you can. I let it cook all afternoon, about 4-5 hours. Of course, you don't have to let it cook that long. But I would try to let it simmer for 1-2 hours. The longer it cooks, the thicker & tastier it gets!
Cook your pasta, according to the package directions. Add the half & half or cream & stir to incorporate. I used half & half this time.
Toss sauce with the pasta, top with Parmesan cheese & fresh chopped parsley.