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If you know much about Italian cooking, you probably know that Marcella Hazan is its grand dame. She is largely credited with bringing traditional Italian cooking to America and this is an adaptation of one of her most well-known recipes. The recipe is a lot of work, so I always double it, as the bolognese freezes extremely well.
1. Finely dice the onion, carrot, and celery.
2. 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.
3. Add the chopped celery and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring vegetables to coat them well.
4. Add ground meat, a large pinch of salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Crumble the meat in the pot and stir well. Cook until the meat has lost its raw, red color.
5. Add milk and let it simmer gently, stirring frequently. Cook until the milk has bubbled away completely (about 15 minutes). Add about 1/8 teaspoon of grated nutmeg, and stir.
6. Add the wine, let it simmer until evaporated.
7. Add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all ingredients well. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn down heat. Simmer, uncovered, for 4-5 hours or more, stirring occasionally.
8. While the sauce is cooking, it might dry out. To keep it from sticking, add 1/2 cup of water when necessary.
9. At the end, no water should be left and the fat should 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.
Questions? Text to Craig at 202-217-0996 or email Savor@metroweekly.com.
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