John Spencer's Bolognese Sauce

Total Time:
3 hr
15 min
2 hr 45 min

serves 6 to 8 people, with leftovers

  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 8 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 (28-ounce) cans whole peeled Italian tomatoes, undrained
  • 1 green bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, coarsely chopped
  • 1 medium red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 medium white onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 bunch Italian parsley, leaves chopped
  • 1 package mushrooms, chopped
  • 4 large fresh oregano, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh leaves of basil, chopped
  • 1 large stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 -cup chianti or good Italian red wine
  • 2 (16-ounce) cans tomato sauce
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/2 pound lean premium ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • Olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 hot sausage link (optional)
  • 1 mild sausage (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 pounds pasta of your choice, cooked al dente
  • In a large cast iron skillet, place the olive oil and cloves of garlic. Cook for about 2 minutes over medium heat until garlic gets light tan but not brown. Add the tomatoes into the oil and garlic and scald tomatoes for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, and breaking up with wooden spoon. Transfer tomato mixture to a large saucepan and keep on low heat. Clean out cast iron skillet for upcoming use.

  • Mix chopped vegetables and herbs together in a big bowl. Take 1/3 of mixture and set aside. Put the remaining 2/3 into saucepan with tomato mixture. Add 1 cup of good Italian red wine, such as Chianti (do not use cooking wine) to tomato mixture. Add 2 (16-ounce) cans of tomato sauce to tomato mixture. Add 1 teaspoon salt to taste, and freshly ground pepper (as such as you like). Let the tomato sauce cook uncovered simmering for 1hour.

  • Put about 1 tablespoon of olive oil in bottom of cast iron skillet. Add ground beef, ground pork, and remaining 1/3 vegetable mixture. Cook until meat is medium well and then add mixture to tomato sauce. Add 2 tablespoons of sugar to pot. Simmer tomato sauce partially covered for another 1 to 1 1/2 hours.

  • When tomato sauce is about 15 minutes away from being done, take the 2 sausage links, make a slit down the middle, but do not cut in half. Put the water on to a boil for pasta. Cook Pasta. Place the sausage links in the cast-iron skillet and cook until browned all the way through. Slice sausage into chunks. Either add sausage to tomato sauce or use as suggested below.

  • Place pasta in large serving bowl, add butter, mix, add enough sauce to coat, and as much fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese as you like. Serve pasta from the big bowl into individual servings with a few sausage chunks and more if desired. Bon Appetit!

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