A family favourite in our house, and so easy to put together. It does take time, so its a good ‘Sunday afternoon when there is nothing much to do’ project. The good news is that the flavours are even better the next day, so make on Sunday to enjoy later in the week. After a long day at the office, dinner will be a snap! Just boil your favourite pasta and you have a quick and easy mid-week dinner. This serves 8 generously, and freezes very well.
3 Tablespoons oil
2 yellow onions, diced
5 celery ribs, diced
3 medium carrots, shredded
6 garlic cloves, minced
1/4 lb bacon finely chopped
1 lb lean ground beef
1 lb lean ground pork
1 can tomato paste (6 oz)
14 oz can tomato puree
1 cup dry red wine
1/2 cup water
1 cup milk (whole milk is best, but skim will work too, if that’s what you have)
1/4 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Get your big pot out… not that one, the bigger one – 6 – 8 quarts. There is lots of stirring and simmering involved here and you will want the extra room a larger pot gives you.
Heat oil in pot over medium heat. Add onion, celery, carrot and garlic, and cook, stirring occasionally, over medium heat until onion is translucent and vegetables are slightly soft. Do not let them brown. About 15 minutes.
Increase heat to medium- high, add bacon, beef and pork and cook, stirring to break up any chunks until meat is no longer pink. About 10 minutes.
Reduce heat to medium and stir in tomato paste until well combined with meat and vegetables. About 2 minutes.
Stir in tomato puree, wine, water, milk, salt and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer, partially covered until liquids reduce and sauce is thickened. About 2 hours. Remember to stir occasionally while sauce simmers.
Spoon over cooked pasta and serve immediately or cool sauce uncovered, at room temperature. Once sauce has cooled, cover and refrigerate. Will keep 3 days in the fridge or frozen up to 3 months.