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Author Notes: I make a lot of different versions of this kind of sauce: with and without porcinis, with and without milk, different meats, etc. This one was a result of an extended blackout we had last August. Once the freezer contents started melting, the many packages of grass-fed, farm-to-my freezer ground meats had to be cooked. Milk was at a premium that week, so I didn't use any and found I really liked it just fine without. Luckily I have a gas stove! This feeds a ton of people (12 plus) with about 2 or 3 pounds of pasta. —healthierkitchen
Food52 Review: This is a very good rendition of a simple ragu. I prepared the mise en place before beginning to cook and found the directions to be clear and concise. I followed my usual procedure of seasoning in layers as I cook, using a light hand because of the saltiness of the pancetta. I didn’t think it was necessary to use a separate pan for sautéing the meat. Instead, in the future, I would prepare it in a Dutch oven from start to finish. This is an excellent recipe for a crowd, or to stock your freezer for easy, delicious future meals. —Debi Claycomb
Serves a blackout potluck or at least two meals for 4 to 6
- 2 pounds ground beef
- 1 pound ground pork
- 1 pound ground veal
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 ounces pancetta, diced
- 1 large red onion, diced
- 2 stalks celery, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 5 tablespoons double concentrated tomato paste
- 1 bay leaf
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Cooked penne or tagliatelle and grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
- In a large frying pan, crumble and brown the ground meats, breaking up large chunks with the back of a spoon. Drain the meat out of the fat and reserve the meat.
- In a large, heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven set over medium heat, add 1 tablespoon olive oil and the pancetta. Let the pancetta brown a little and render some fat, but not crisp.
- Add the onion, celery, and carrot to the pot with the pancetta. Salt lightly and cook until the vegetables soften and onions become translucent.
- Add the drained ground meat to the vegetables and pancetta and again break up any larger chunks of meat with the back of the spoon.
- Add the wine to the pot, raise the heat to bring the mixture to a boil, and then lower and simmer for 2 to 3 minutes.
- Add the tomato paste and bay leaf and cover pot contents with water by about an inch.
- Continue to simmer for about three hours, adding more water if the mixture starts looking too dry. Taste for salt and pepper.
- Remove the bay leaf and serve over cooked penne or tagliatelle with grated Parmesan cheese.
- This recipe is a Community Pick!
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Cheap Feast
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Dirt Cheap Dinner
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Recipe for Now and Later