Anything Marcella Hazan does is perfection. Via Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking.
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 3 tbsps butter, plus 1 tbsp for tossing the pasta
- ½ cup chopped onion
- 2/3 cup chopped celery
- 2/3 cup chopped carrot
- ¾ lb ground beef chuck (shouldn’t be too lean a cut)
- salt and black pepper
- 1 cup whole milk
- whole nutmeg (I used ground…)
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 ½ cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, cut up, witht their juice
- 1 ¼ and 1 ½ pounds pasta
- Grated Parmesan
- 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 the vegetables to coat them well.
- Add the 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 raw, red color.
- Add the milk and let it simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has bubbled away completely. Add a tiny grating– about 1/8 teaspoon– of nutmeg, and stir.
- Add the wine, let it simmer until it has evaporated, then add the tomatoes and stir throroughly to coat all the ingredients well. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down so that the sauce cooks at the laziest of simmers, with just an intermittent bubble breaking through to the surface. Cook uncovered, for 3 hours or more, stirring from time to time. While the sauce is cooking, you are likely to find that it begins to dry out and the fat separates from the meat. To keep it from sticking, continue the cooking, adding ½ cup of water whenever necessary. At the end, however no water at all must 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.