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Author Notes: Bolognese sauce was one of the first recipes I ever really started to cook, and after many years of cooking it I've finally gotten to a recipe that I really enjoy. Requires a dutch oven. —David White
- 1 large container of mirepoix (or 3/4-1 cup each of diced celery, carrots, and onions)
- 2 cloves chopped garlic
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 8 ounces pancetta or bacon, diced
- 2.5 pounds meatloaf blend meat (beef, pork, and veal)
- 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
- 1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes, plus 1 cup water to rinse the can
- 2 cups half and half
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 3 tablespoons fish sauce
- 1 pound dried rigatoni
- Heat a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add butter and bacon fat and cook until fat is rendered, 8-10 minutes. Add mirepoix and cook until soft, another 8 minutes. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, 1-2 minutes more.
- Increase heat to medium high and add ground meat mix and cook until all browned, 10 minutes. Keep heat on high and reduce until most liquid is evaporated, 6-8 minutes. Add red wine and reduce liquid, 8 minutes more.
- Add crushed tomatoes and water, 1 cup of half and half, salt, pepper, and cocoa powder. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 3-4 hours.
- Once a layer of fat has covered the top, turn off heat and skim the fat. This can either be done right away or you can leave in the fridge for a few hours until the fat has solidified. Once fat is skimmed, bring sauce back to a boil and add last cup of half and half, parmesan cheese, and fish sauce. Stir quickly until mixed and emulsified, then reduce for 10-15 minutes more on medium heat.
- While sauce is reducing, bring a stockpot of salted water to a boil. Add rigatoni and cook until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and strain pasta. Add pasta and reserved water to sauce and combine, then cook 2 minutes more. Can be served immediately or stored in fridge for up to a week.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Now and Later