15 August 2008


This is my world famous ragu alla bolognese simmering in the slow drone of summer. It takes 10 hours to make. It's one of the best things in my life.

[This is mostly Marcella Hazan's recipe, with some variation.]

1. In 3 tbsp. of olive oil, fry 1/4 lb. of chopped pancetta.
2. Melt in 8 tbsp. of butter, and stir in 1 cup of chopped onion. Cook till transluscent.
3. Add 1 and 2/3 cup each of finely chopped carrots and celery, and cook for a few minutes.
4. Add 1 lb. each of ground chuck and ground pork.
5. When the meat is no longer red, add 2 1/2 cups whole milk. On low-medium heat, allow the liquid to simmer down till much of the milk is evaporated. Stir frequently. (This may take an hour.) Add 1/3 tsp. of ground nutmeg.
6. Add 2 1/2 cups of dry white wine or a full-bodied red wine, or a combination of whatever you have handy. As with the milk, simmer slowly till mostly evaporated. (Another hour.)
7. Add 1 large can (28 oz.) of peeled whole plum tomatoes. Once the simmer commences, bring the heat down to low (really, really low).
8. During about 4-5 hours of the l-a-z-i-e-s-t simmer, stir the sauce frequently, while gradually adding salt (to taste). Best done while drinking a robust to-your-face chianti.
9. You just made enough sauce to feed your apartment building. Therefore, make an obscene amount of your favorite pasta, and invite every low-carbing friend. Leftover sauce freezes well.