Pasta with meat sauce. Mmm…I love it; easy to make and really delicious. But first I have to say that while I am most definitely not a vegetarian I do not eat a great deal of meat (for a variety of reasons). Sometimes I go days, even a week or so with out eating meat (as I have this past week…up until today), and then when I do eat it it tastes that much more special. And while I call this Bolognese I know that there are purists out there who will twist themselves in knots as they read the recipe, but this is my variation. I, for example, do not use milk or cream in the recipe (I cook far too much creamy stuff at my job) and I use olive oil in place of the butter. I also prefer pork instead of a combination of meats. Anyhow, this is how I make mine, and it’s really good (my teen-aged son ate three helpings); I hope you enjoy it.
Heat a few tablespoons olive oil in a heavy skillet, then add ground pork and cook it until it begins to brown. If there is a lot of fat drain some of it, otherwise leave it as is. Add a diced onion, bell pepper, a couple cloves of minced garlic, a peeled and diced carrot, and a diced stalk of celery. Cook the vegetables another minute or so. Add a pinch of fennel seed, crushed hot pepper, basil, and oregano; stir it into the meat and vegetables, then add a glass or two of wine; white or red, whichever you prefer (I like red). Bring the wine to a boil and let it cook for a minute or two, then add enough tomato sauce to just cover the meat. Bring the sauce to a boil, then lower it to a slow simmer; season it with salt and a pinch of black pepper. While the sauce cooks, boil your pasta. Cook the pasta al dente, then add it to the simmering sauce, gently stirring it in. Allow the pasta to cook in the sauce for a couple minutes to absorb flavors. Just before removing from the heat stir in a handful of fresh basil leaves (if you have it on hand). Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.