Spaghetti Bolognese

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This is a fantastic original recipe I learned from my roommate (an Italian chef!) while I was living in Bologna.

Preparation time: 20 min.
Cooking time: 50 min.

Difficulty: Medium - experience needed
Serves: 6


1-2 grated carrots
1 large chopped onion
1-2 ribs celery
3 large garlic cloves minced
dry white wine (I used Trader Joe's 2 Buck Chuck Chard!)
300-400 g ground beef
1/2 cup milk (whole/lowfat)
8-10 large fresh Roma tomatoes (or 2 cans whole peeled roma tomatoes)
olive oil (of course)
fresh basil leaves
fresh Parmesan grated

Recommended linguine, fettuccine, or penne pasta (fresh is always best, but dried works of course as well)


-Boil water with a touch of olive oil in a large pot
-(If using fresh tomatoes) When water is boiling, drop whole tomatoes into water and let boil until skins split
-Pull tomatoes out and set on a drying rack to cool, but save boiling water for pasta
(While tomatoes cool...)
-Simmer until liquid is mostly absorbed: minced garlic, onion, carrots, and celery in olive oil
->Add dry white wine (you can be pretty liberal with this, about 1/4 bottle?), also add rosemary and pepper to taste
-When liquid is mostly absorbed, add ground beef and more wine
-When beef begins to brown, add 2 pinches of salt, milk, and a pinch of sugar (if you desire)
-Cook the meat and all ingredients until all wine has evaporated
*Peel skins off tomatoes by hand
-Add tomatoes by hand squeezing them over the pot of other mixed ingredients. Be careful if they are still very hot. I used rubber gloves and this worked. Get into the squeezing, you want the tomatoes to break up into juicy chunks, but don't lose any of the juice!
-Add more wine, salt and a bit more sugar (if you so desire) to taste
-Add fresh basil in small pieces
-Simmer 40 minutes stirring frequently

*Optional: If you need more sauce or the sauce doesn't appear saucy enough, you could also add some canned tomato paste

Cook your pasta and serve as desired! (A small serving tip I learned in Italy: before laying the pasta on the plate, spread a bit of sauce all over the bottom of the plate so that the sauce is evenly mixed! Then put a scoop on top of your pasta!)


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