The mix of fresh and cured meats in this classic sauce gives it a complex, hearty flavor. This version also achieves the ideal balance of meat to sauce.
Plus: Pasta Recipes and Tips
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 celery rib, finely diced
1 pound coarsely ground beef chuck
1 pound coarsely ground pork
1/4 pound mortadella, cut into 1/4-inch dice (optional)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
One 28-ounce can Italian whole tomatoes, chopped, juices reserved
1 1/2 cups chicken or beef stock or low-sodium broth
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound spaghetti
1/4 cup heavy cream
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
How to Make It
In a medium enameled cast-iron casserole, melt the butter in the oil. Add the garlic, pancetta, carrot, onion and celery and cook over moderately low heat until the onion is golden, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and pork and cook over moderate heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no pink remains, about 8 minutes. Stir in the mortadella and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes with their juices, the stock, nutmeg and 1 tablespoon each of the parsley and basil and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 1 1/2 hours. Keep warm.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the spaghetti until al dente. Drain and return it to the pot.
Stir the cream and the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley and 1 tablespoon of basil into the meat sauce. Season the sauce with salt and pepper, then add 2 cups to the spaghetti and toss. Transfer the spaghetti to a large bowl, top with the remaining sauce and serve. Pass the Parmesan cheese at the table.
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