Gina, a mutual friend of mine and my brother's hosted an intimate dinner in honor of my brother's birthday. What a meal! Gina is a great cook and a gracious hostess--a lot of her recipes originate from her Italian and Californian roots.
The main event at our dinner was Gina's family famous Bolognese sauce. I can't even describe in words how delicious it was--hearty, fragrant and as chunky as a Bolognese should be. The recipe below, which Gina shared with me came from her father's side of the family. They should be very proud--it's robust enough for hungry Manhattanites and it could even feed a small village.
Treat the below recipe with care--it's very special.
Walter's Honest-to-Goodness Bolognese Sauce
Ingredients (feeds a looot of people - more than 5)
2 - 4 tbs olive oil
3 yellow or Vidalia onions, chopped
1/2 - 1 head of garlic cloves, peeled and minced
3 lbs extra lean ground sirloin
(2) 15 oz cans of tomatoes, drained, cut into 1 inch pieces (save the juice)
(1) 15 oz can of the best quality tomato puree or sauce, unseasoned
(2) 6 oz cans of Contadina tomato paste
1 cup of dry red wine
1 tbs of each, oregano and basil
Salt, pepper, Tabasco or Italian red pepper to taste
Sautee sirloin until cooked through. Drain well of all fat and set aside. Clean pan. Sautee onions in olive oil until translucent. Add garlic and sautee until fragrance is released but the garlic is not browned. Add meat and mix well. Add oregano, basil, salt, pepper, Tabasco and mix well. Add tomatoes and tomato paste, mix well. Add puree of tomato sauce, mix well. Sauce should be so thick that it does NOT pour from spoon in a ribbon but drops in a clump. Add just enough juice from the drained tomatoes to cause the sauce to pour from the spoon. It should be very, very thick to be authentic. Simmer very slowly for an hour before serving. To serve, toss hot pasta with sauce and put into bowls.
Gina's family also likes to put this sauce in the center of an omelette or on pizza crust.