Christmas Pasta Sauce
Contributed by Diane S.

This ragu from Emilia Romagna is served by many Italians with the
traditional pasta course at Christmas.

    1/4 c  Extra-virgin olive oil
           Small carrot, finely chopped
           Small onion, finely chopped
           Small celery stick, finely chopped
           Large garlic clove, finely chopped
      1 lb Italian sausage
    1/3 lb Ground beef
  6 1/2 oz Pancetta; diced
    1/2 ts Salt
    1/2 ts Freshly ground pepper
    1/4 ts Freshly grated nutmeg
    1/2 c  Dry red wine
    1/2 c  Tomato paste
      1 c  Italian tomatoes; chopped
      2 tb Parsely, finely chopped
  1/2,1 oz dried porcini mushrooms

Soak the porcini in warm water for at least 1/2 hour. Remove from the water,
squeeze dry and chop.

Meanwhile, in a large saucepan or flameproof casserole, heat the olive oil
over moderate heat. Add the carrot, onion and celery and saute until the
onion is golden, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and cook until fragrant,
about 1 minute.

Add the sausage, ground beef and pancetta to the pan. Cook over moderate
heat, stirring to break up the meat, until the beef and sausage are no
longer pink. Drain off any fat. Season with the salt, pepper and nutmeg.
Pour in the red wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until it evaporates,
about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, tomatoes, porcini and 1/2 cup of
warm water. Simmer for 30 minutes.  If the sauce gets too thick, add a
little more water. (The recipe  can be made to this point up to 2 days
ahead. Cover and refrigerate; reheat before serving.)  Add the parsley
just before serving.

Categories: Pasta, Sauces, Party, Italian, Main dish
Yield: 6 servings
September 98 Recipes