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bolognese sauce over rigatoni pasta
Cook Time: 4 hr

Servings: Yield 3 cups


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 1/2 tablespoons butter plus 1 tablespoon for tossing the pasta
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 1/8 pounds dry aged beef or fresh Chuck mixed with Pellicle
  • Salt
  • Black pepper, fresh ground
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3/16 tsp nutmeg, fresh ground
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 1/4 cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
  • 2 1/4 to 3 pounds pasta, Rigatoni works well here
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese at the table

Put the oil, butter and chopped onion in the pot and turn the heat on to medium. Cook and stir the onion until it has become translucent, then add the chopped celery and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring vegetables to coat them well. Add ground beef, a large pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Crumble the meat with a fork, stir well and cook until the beef has lost its red color. Add milk and let it simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it absorbed completely. Add nutmeg, and stir. Add the wine, let it simmer until it has evaporated. Depending on how much fat is in your beef mix or pellicle, you may need to pour off excess fat from the pan, then add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all ingredients well. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down so that the sauce cooks at a slow simmer. Cook, uncovered, for 3 hours or more, stirring from time to time. While the sauce is cooking, if it begins to dry out and the fat separates from the meat, add 1/2 cup of water whenever necessary. When done, no water should be left and the fat must separate from the sauce. Taste and correct for salt. Toss with cooked drained pasta, adding the tablespoon of butter, and serve with freshly grated Parmesan on the side.