Chicago’s Best & Bravest: Berwyn Engine 2

Elliott is hangin’ with the very funny Battalion Chief at Engine 2, Mario Manfredini, cookin’ up one of the BEST PASTA dishes ever featured on Chicago’s Best!

MARIO’S BOLOGNESE SAUCE

A NOTE FROM MARIO:
Unlike meat sauces in which tomatoes dominate, Bolognese sauce is about the meat, with tomatoes in a supporting role. The addition of dairy, wine and vegetables lend themselves to this complexly flavored sauce, with rich meatiness up front and a good balance of sweet, salty, and acidic flavors. To intensify flavors, cook the sauce SLOW on a low simmer for five to seven hours, remembering to season every time you add a new ingredient. Trust me the flavors will be incredible. You’ll have to babysit this sauce and stir it quite frequently.

The following recipe is enough sauce for three pounds of pasta (preferably pappardelle, fettuccine or another wide flat noodle) which will feed twelve hungry people or six firefighters in beautiful downtown Berwyn.

INGREDIENTS:
• 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
• 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
• ½ pound of thinly sliced and chopped pancetta
• 1 pound of ground chuck
• 1 pound of ground pork
• 1 pound of ground veal
• 2 yellow onions minced
• 1 stalk of celery minced
• 8 carrots minced
• 12 gloves of garlic minced
• 6 oz can of tomato paste
• 1 cup of red wine
• 3 cups of 2% or whole milk
• 1 pint of heavy whipping cream
• 1 bunch of fresh basil (chiffonade)
*Kosher salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, granulated garlic to taste

RECIPE:
1. Heat the butter and olive oil in a large, heavy bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat
2. Add the pancetta and some crushed red pepper
3. Once the pancetta is translucent and fat has been rendered – add all the meat, crumbling it with a spoon as it cooks
4. Season at this time (salt, pepper, crushed red pepper, granulated garlic)
5. Cook the meat, continuing to crumble it until it becomes loose, liquid from the meat will exist in pan – do not remove (Continue cooking on low heat)
6. Add onion, carrot, and celery – continue cooking until softened but not browned {season again}
7. Add the garlic – cook until aromatic {season again}
8. Add tomato paste and continue stirring constantly as much of the liquid will become absorbed and the mixture becomes fragrant and takes on a rust-color {season again}
9. Stir in wine, scraping the bottom of the pan to loosen fond – simmer until sauce has thickened, a wooden spoon should leave a trail on the bottom of the pan when dragged through the sauce {season again}
10. Stir in milk, 6 ounces at a time until it becomes incorporated in the sauce and reduces – this will take some time under low heat but following this process will not only tenderize the meat, it will give the sauce a sweet appealing flavor {season again}
11. Simmer the sauce at the lowest possible heat for about three hours stirring and seasoning along the way for about three hours if possible
12. Prior to serving, add in the heavy cream and warm through
13. Season one last time – add fresh basil and freshly grated parmesan cheese
14. Cook pasta in salted water until al dente
15. Drain pasta, leaving some water dripping from noodles – toss with sauce and serve immediately, adding more parmesan cheese as needed

LINK: http://www.facebook.com/MariosMarinara