If you don’t have all three meats—pork, veal and beef—for this sauce, you could use just two of the three and still make a fabulous bolognese. Or, even better, add any delicious meat that you have on hand, like bacon, sausage or guanciale. But remember that if you use any kind of cured meat, you’ll want to cut down on the salt.
3 Tbs. olive oil
1 small white onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1 small clove garlic, minced
2 or 3 bay leaves
5 oz. (155 g) ground veal
5 oz. (155 g) ground pork
5 oz.(155 g) lean ground beef
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) full-bodied red wine, such as Zinfandel
2 cans (28 oz./875 g each) plum tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, with their juices
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) heavy cream
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
1⁄2 cup (2 oz./60 g) grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
8 large fresh basil leaves, coarsely chopped
1 1⁄2 lb. (750 g) spaghetti, cooked according to the package directions, for serving
Place a Dutch oven or other large, heavy pot over medium-low heat and add the oil. Add the onion, carrot and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is translucent, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and bay leaves and cook for 1 minute more.
Add the veal, pork and beef and cook, stirring to break up the chunks, until the beef is no longer pink, about 7 minutes. Add the wine, raise the heat to high and cook for about 5 minutes to reduce the wine slightly. Add the tomatoes and their juices and the cream and reduce the heat to low. Cook, uncovered, stirring every 10 minutes or so, for about 1 1⁄2 hours.
Add 3⁄4 tsp. salt, season with pepper, and cook for about 10 minutes more. Taste and adjust the seasoning. Stir in the cheese and basil. Serve immediately over the pasta. Serves 6.
Recipe adapted from The Cook & the Butcher, by Brigit Binns.