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Rach's slow-simmering ragu of three meats (pork, beef, and veal) will transform any pasta into the perfect bowl of Italian comfort food.
Rach's Tip: Serve this rich Tuscan meat sauce with pici (thick, dense pasta, similar in shape to spaghetti) or pappardelle.
- 2 cups beef bone broth
- 1 cup dried porcini mushrooms
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 small bulb fennel, cored, trimmed and finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped or grated
- 3 large ribs celery, finely chopped
- 2 large shallots (or 1 onion), finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped or grated
- ½ pound ground beef (80-85%)
- ½ pound ground veal
- ½ pound ground pork
- Salt and pepper
- About ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
- 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 2 teaspoons ground sage (or 2 tablespoons fresh sage leaves), finely chopped
- 1 cup dry white wine
- One 28-ounce can chopped or crushed Italian tomatoes
- 1 pound pici (traditional Tuscan pasta) or 1 pound egg pappardelle
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 1 cup grated pecorino cheese, plus some to pass
- Lemon zest, to serve
In a small pan, heat broth and dried mushrooms to reconstitute, about 10 minutes at a low boil, gentle bubbling simmer.
To a large Dutch oven over medium-low to medium heat, add the EVOO, 3 turns of the pan, add sofrito: fennel, carrot, celery, shallots or onions and garlic and soften 5 minutes, add the meats and crumble them as they lose their pink color, do not brown. Add the salt, pepper, nutmeg, rosemary and sage, add wine and let it absorb fully.
Remove dried mushrooms and finely chop, add stock and mushrooms and tomatoes to sauce and reduce heat to simmer.
Bring a large pot of water to boil and season with salt. Cook pasta 1 minute less than package directions and reserve ¾ cup salty cooking water. Toss drained pasta with butter, 1 cup cheese, reserved water and half the ragu.
Serve pasta in a large shallow bowl or individual bowls topped with remaining sauce, a little lemon zest and more pecorino cheese.