This recipe was inspired by one I found from Tyler Florence and what I liked about it was the idea of puréeing the vegetables before sautéing them. The result is all the flavor without the actual bite of the vegetables in the sauce, which makes for a much meatier sauce. Homemade bolognese takes a long time to make right, so be sure to make a full batch and freeze the remaining sauce for a later use.
2 slices bacon, roughly chopped
1/2 medium onion, roughly chopped
1 celery stalk, roughly chopped
1 carrot, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh rosemary
Salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper
1 1/2 pounds ground beef
1 cup milk
1 14-ounce can crushed tomatoes
1 cup red wine
2 ounces homemade pasta
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
1. In a food processor, purée bacon, onion, celery, carrot and garlic until finely minced.
2. In a large saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add bay leaf and rosemary and cook for 1-2 minutes, until just fragrant. Add puréed vegetables and cook until softened about 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
3. Increase heat to medium-high and add beef. Season with salt and pepper. Cook until beef is no longer pink, breaking up into smaller pieces with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Drain off any excess fat.
4. Add milk and simmer until evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and wine and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and simmer, uncovered for about 2 hours, until sauce has thickened. Stir occasionally to prevent sauce from sticking to bottom of pan. Remove bay leaf and rosemary sprig and discard.
5. When ready to serve, bring a pot of water to boil and add salt. Cut pasta sheets, by hand, into tagliatelle noodles and cook for 2-3 minutes (if using store-bought pasta, cook for 7-10 minutes). Transfer to a serving bowl and top with bolognese sauce, followed by freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.