Rustic pasta with hearty Bolognese sauce

Photo by Sarah Kenney

Serves: 6-8


2 Tbs. olive oil
1¼ lb. (625 g) ground beef
1¼ lb. (625 g) ground pork
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
4 oz. (125 g) pancetta, cut into ½-inch (12-mm) dice
1 yellow onion, finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 celery stalk, finely diced
5 garlic cloves, minced
⅓ cup (3 oz./90 g) tomato paste
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) dry red wine
1 cup (8 fl. oz./250 ml) milk
2 cans (each 28 oz./875 g) whole tomatoes, passed through a food mill
2 bay leaves
1 Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese rind
1 lb. (500 g) pappardelle, cooked until al dente and drained
Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese for serving


In a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, warm 1 Tbs. of the olive oil. Add the ground beef and pork, and season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, about 12 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Add the pancetta to the pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until crisp, about 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

Reduce the heat to medium and warm the remaining 1 Tbs. olive oil. Add the onion, carrots and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and simmer until almost evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the ground meats, pancetta, milk, tomatoes, bay leaves and cheese rind. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer.

Cover partially, reduce the heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens, 1½ to 2 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaves and cheese rind.

Toss the pasta with about 3 cups (24 fl. oz./750 ml) of the sauce (reserve the remaining sauce for another use). Sprinkle cheese on top. Serve immediately and pass additional cheese alongside. Serves 6 to 8

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