There’s no other way to say it, so I’ll just throw it out there…
This dish is one of the most flavorful pasta sauces I have ever tasted… In my life… Even in restaurants.
Great part? It’s fairly simple, and it’s one-pot supper. It would be a little tough on a busy weeknight, but save an hour on a Saturday or Sunday, set a little time for YOU in your kitchen, gettin’ your groove on…
Trust me, your family will LOVE you even more than they already do.
* 3 carrots, peeled and chopped coarse
* 1 onion, chopped coarse
* 5 slices peppered bacon, cut into 1-inch pieces (pancetta is more authentic and a great substitute for bacon; if using, you’ll need 4 oz pancetta)
* 3/4 oz dried porcini mushrooms
* 2 anchovy fillets, rinsed (yes, anchovies… Do not omit them – they add a rich depth to the sauce and there is no fishiness; I promise you)
* 4 (14.5 oz) cans diced tomatoes
* 4 Tbsp butter
* Salt and pepper
* 1 small can tomato paste (about 3 Tbsp)
* 1 Tbsp sugar
* 4 garlic cloves, minced
* 1 lb 85% lean ground beef
* 1/2 lb ground pork
* 2 cups whole milk
* 3/4 cup white wine
* 5 cups water
* 1 1/2 lbs whole wheat ziti (or your other fave pasta shape; the sauce coats and distributes well with the ziti)
* 1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
Combine the carrots and onion in a food processor. Process until finely chopped; transfer to a prep bowl. Process the bacon (or pancetta, if using), porcini mushrooms, and anchovies until finely chopped; transfer to a separate prep bowl. Add the tomatoes to the food processor and pulse until most chunks are gone; transfer to a separate bowl.
Melt butter in a very large saucepan or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the processed bacon mixture and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in processed carrot/onion mixture and 1 1/2 tsp salt. Cook until softened and fragrant, about 8 minutes. Stir in tomato paste and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes. Add ground beef and ground pork, breaking up the meat into chunks; cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the milk and simmer until nearly evaporated, about 25 minutes.
Stir in the red wine and simmer until thickened and nearly evaporated, about 20 minutes. Stir in tomatoes; bring to another simmer. Stir in water and ziti; bring to a rapid simmer. Cover and continue to simmer, stirring frequently, until pasta is tender and sauce is thickened, about 20 minutes or so. Remove from heat and season with salt and pepper (if necessary). Top with freshly-grated Parmesan.
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Original recipe adapted from America’s Test Kitchen Menu Cookbook, pg 207.