This is a sauce that cooks almost all day, has tons of flavor, and is great for many different applications. We’ve used it for spaghetti, lasagna, and zoodles (zucchini noodles). Best of all, it’s basically half vegetables! If this isn’t one of those trick-your-kids-into-eating-healthy things then I don’t know what is. It does take a bit of effort, a bit of standing over a hot pot in the kitchen, but it’s all worth it. You will be swimming in bolognese for weeks. (It’s a good thing, really.)
Adapted from Cook’s Illustrated
- 1 1/2 lbs ground chuck
- 1 1/2 lbs ground pork
- 16 oz baby bella mushrooms, de-stemmed and cleaned
- 4 carrots, peeled
- 4 stalks celery
- 1 large white onion, cut in large chunks
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tbs unsalted butter
- a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup white wine
- 1 cup milk
- 2 28oz cans whole tomatoes
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tsp dried basil
- 1 bay leaf
- Kosher salt and pepper to taste
- Chop the carrots, celery, onion, and mushrooms into manageable sizes. Working in batches, transfer to your food processor and pulse until finely chopped. Transfer finely chopped veggies into a large mixing bowl.
- Warm up a large pot or dutch oven to medium heat. Pop in the butter and olive oil. Once hot, toss in the finely chopped veggies, stirring often.
- Once the veggies are just about cooked (check the carrots, the take the longest), start to crumble the chuck and pork into the pot. It doesn’t have to be perfect, it’ll fall apart more as the sauce cooks. Stir frequently.
- Once the meat is cooked through (you’ll no longer see any pink pieces), add the milk. The pot should be gently bubbling. Stir frequently, until the milk has completely incorporated.
- Add the wine. Keep stirring until the wine evaporates. While you’re waiting, place the tomatoes in your food process and give them a whirl or two, we want them chopped finely but not mush.
- Add the tomatoes and the herbs. Gently simmer uncovered for 2-4 hours. The tomatoes will turn a richer, redder color and the sauce will thicken. Add salt and pepper to taste (don’t be alarmed if it requires a good bit of salt, think of all the things we just put in there! Salt a little at a time, tasting in between. Trust your senses!)
- When ready to eat let cool for 20-30 minutes before spooning over pasta, zoodles, polenta, or whatever you like. Will hold up for a week in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.