Serves: 6 to 8
Prep time: 15 min
Cook time: 4 hrs 30 min
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 small Spanish onion,15 peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 2 celery stalks, peeled and chopped
- 1/2 bunch flat-leaf Italian parsley
- 2 sprigs rosemary, sage, thyme, or a combination
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 pounds mixed ground meat, such as 2 pounds beef, 1 pound pork, and 1 pound veal
- 1 tablespoon Italian double concentrate tomato paste
- 1 35-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes
- 1 pinch salt and pepper, to taste
- Chop the garlic, onions, carrots, celery, herbs, and parsley finely in a food processor.
- In a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven-type pan, sweat the vegetables out over low heat in the olive oil with a pinch of salt.
- Let them sweat about 7 to 8 minutes, until the onions become translucent but are not taking on color. Add about 3/4 cup water and the tablespoon of tomato concentrate and let cook down briskly until the liquid is almost completely evaporated.
- Now add the ground meat, breaking it up continuously and moving it about so that no lumps or balls form and all the meat gets broken down into its individual strands. Once the meat is all broken down and just cooked, add the can of San Marzano tomatoes and cook, simmering gently, stirring occasionally on the lowest heat you can go. The longer and slower this cooks, the better the ragu. We're talking 3 or 4 hours. You will know it's done when all the fat has cooked out of the meat and floats lazily on top of the sauce, colored orange from the tomato. At this point, the ragu can be eaten immediately or refrigerated for 3 to 4 days or frozen for 3 to 4 months.