Bolognaise Sauce

  • 1-2 slices pancetta, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 Lbs ground meat (this can be beef, pork, veal, lamb, any fresh sausage or a combination)
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 5 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 sprigs fresh sage
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine
  • 1 lg can puree tomatoes
  • 1 cup milk or half and half
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • Lemon if needed
  • Fresh chopped parsley
  • Kosher salt and fresh cracked black pepper

In a large straight sided pan with a heavy bottom, render the pancetta over low heat until it is crisp.  Remove the pancetta from the pan with a slotted spoon and set it aside.  Turn up the heat under your pan to get it nice and hot.  Lightly season the meat with salt and pepper and place it in the hot pan, letting it brown evenly before stirring it around.  Break up the meat with the back or a wooden spoon.  When the meat is well browned, remove it from the heat and add it to the bowl with the pancetta.  Reduce the heat to medium and add the onions and carrots.  While they are softening tie the herbs and bay leaf into a sachet. When the onions and carrots are very soft and fragrant, add the garlic and herb sachet.  Cook for one minute more until the garlic is fragrant.  Add all of the reserved meat back to the pan and mix everything together well.  If you like heat in your sauce, add the crushed red pepper here.  Increase the heat back to high and add the white wine.  Let the mixture simmer until the wine is reduced to a thick syrup.  Add the tomato and milk and mix well.  Reduce the heat under the pan so the mixture gently simmers and let the tomatoes and milk reduce by half (it is important not to boil the mixture here as it will result in the meat becoming tough!).  When the tomato has reduced add the stock and reduce again, about 20 minutes or until the sauce is thick on the palate.  Remove the sauce from the heat and add the parmesan cheese, mixing well to emulsify it in.  Taste and season accordingly with salt and pepper.  If the flavors are dull add a squeeze of lemon.

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