July Wine and Food Pairing – Bolognese Sauce

From Our Table to Yours-Mangia

Probably the first red wine that you drank was in an Italian restaurant, because it goes well with tomato-based dishes and those from the North of Italy.

Recipe By:Chef John
“This Bolognese sauce is dedicated to the late, great Marcella Hazan. She was considered the Julia Child of Italian food, and at a time when most Americans thought ‘Bolognese’ was spaghetti sauce with chunks of hamburger, Marcella taught us just how magnificent this meat sauce could be. I like to toss it with some mezzi rigatoni and serve it with a little grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of parsley.”

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 1/2 cup finely diced celery
  • 1/2 cup finely diced carrot
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
  • 2 cups water, or as needed

Directions

  1. Melt butter with olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; cook onion, celery, and carrot with pinch of salt until onion turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir ground beef into vegetables and cook, stirring constantly until meat is crumbly and no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Season meat mixture with 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg.
  2. Pour milk into ground beef mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until most of the milk has evaporated and bottom of pan is still slightly saucy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Raise heat to medium high and pour white wine into ground beef mixture; cook and stir until white wine has mostly evaporated, about 5 more minutes.
  4. Pour tomatoes with juice into a large mixing bowl and crush them with your fingers until they resemble a slightly chunky sauce. Pour tomatoes into sauce; fill can with 2 cups water and add to sauce. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until mixture cooks down into a thick sauce, at least 3 hours but preferably 4 to 6 hours. Skim fat from top of sauce if desired. If sauce is too thick or too hot on the bottom, add a little more water. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving.

 

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