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Author Notes: This is a hearty, luscious sauce that is best made at least a day in advance and served over substantial pasta like pappardelle or used in lasagna. The list of ingredients is long, but the result is worth it! Sauce can be frozen for later use. —ChefAbilities
Makes 6-8 servings
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 3 carrots, small dice
- 1 celery stalk, small dice
- 1/2 yellow onion, small dice
- 6 garlic cloves, minced
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, small dice
- 4 thick bacon slices, diced
- 1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casing removed
- 8 ounces sirloin, diced
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1 quart beef stock
- 3 bay leaves
- 1 fresh thyme bundle
- 16 ounces water
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
- 8 ounces tomato sauce
- 14.5 ounces canned, diced tomatoes
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- salt to taste
- Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Heat the oil in a heavy stock pot or Dutch oven. Saute the carrot, celery and onion until the onion is translucent.
- Add the garlic and the mushrooms to the pot and saute until mushrooms begin to darken and become tender and all liquid is absorbed.
- Add the bacon, sausage and sirloin to the pot and cook until the meat is lightly browned. Break up the sausage as it cooks.
- Add the tomato paste and stir to coat all the meat. Continue to cook until the tomato past is slightly browned.
- Add the beef stock, bay leaves and thyme bundle and cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce reduces and thickens slightly, about 30 minutes.
- Add the water, red wine, Marsala wine, tomato sauce and diced tomatoes. Stir to combine.
- Remove and discard the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover with a lid and braise in the 300 degree oven for 3 hours, checking liquid level after 2 1/2 hours.
- Remove from the oven. Add the milk and the sugar. Adjust seasoning by adding salt, if necessary. Serve with your favorite pasta.
- Tip: use a heavy whisk to break up the Italian sausage and vegetables after braising. This makes a very luscious, meaty, thick sauce.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for The Recipe You're Most Proud Of