8 TO 10 SERVINGS
This is an authentic, thick, hearty, and meaty sauce that my grandfather use to make. It’s great with any pasta, but my favorite is pappardelle. My grandfather would make fresh pappardelle, and I thought it was the best pasta I’d ever had in my whole life. Of course, making your own pappardelle is a bit time-consuming, but you can purchase pappardelle pasta at the market. It’s almost as good as Nonno Gino’s, but not quite!
1 large white onion, quartered
1 small carrot, cut into four pieces
1 celery rib, cut into four pieces
¹/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 pound ground chuck
½ pound ground pork
2 teaspoons table salt
1 cup whole milk
¹/3 cup white wine
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree
1 teaspoon sugar
1 ½ cups water plus additional as needed
1 pound pappardelle or your favorite pasta
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup fresh basil
Have all your ingredients ready to go.
In a food processor, pulse to chop the onion into small pieces. Set aside. Pulse to chop the carrot and celery into small pieces. Set aside.
Heat a saucepan on medium-high until hot. Add the olive oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add the onions, reduce heat to medium, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the carrot and celery, and sauté for 2 minutes.
Add the ground chuck and ground pork, breaking up the meat as much as you can. Sprinkle on the salt and pour in the milk, continuing to break up the meat. Cook, reducing the milk until the meat starts to sizzle (about 10 to 15 minutes). Add the wine, and mix well. Continue to cook, reducing the wine by half. Reduce heat to a simmer and add tomato paste. Stir in completely and keep mixing for at least 30 seconds. Add the tomato puree, sugar, and water. Mix well. Cover and simmer on very low heat for 1 hour, stirring often. If you feel the sauce is getting too thick, add more water, ¼ cup at a time.
Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain well. Pour into a large serving bowl, mix in the sauce, and sprinkle plenty of Parmesan cheese on top. Garnish with basil. Serve immediately.