Pasta with Bolognese Sauce




  1. Put the oil, butter and chopped onion in a non-reactive pot (meaning stainless steel or enamled cast iron). Set heat to medium. Cook and stir the onion until it has become translucent then add the chopped celery and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring the vegetables to coat them well.
  2. Add the ground beef, a large pinch of salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Crumble the meat with a fork, stir well, and cook until the beef has lost its red, raw color.
  3. Add the milk and let it simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has bubbled away completely (this will take longer than you think). Add a tiny grating -- about 1/8 tsp -- of nutmeg, and stir.
  4. Add the wine, let it simmer until it has evaporated (again, will take longer than you think) then add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat all ingredients well. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down so the sauce cooks at the laziest of simmers, with just an intermittent bubble breaking through to the surface. Cook, uncovered, for 3 hours or more (3 hours is the bare minimum, more is always better; all day is ideal), stirring from time to time. While the sauce is cooking, you are likely to find it begins to dry out and the fat separates from the meat. To keep it from sticking, continue the cooking, adding 1/2 cup of water whenever necessary. At the end, however, no water at all must be left and the fat must separate from the sauce. Taste and correct for salt.
  5. Toss with cooked drained pasta, adding the tablespoon of butter, and serve with freshly grated Parmesan on the side.

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