This sauce takes a lot of time—it should simmer for four to five hours to fully absorb the flavors (thus why I usually make it on Sunday) – but it’s totally worth it! I like to serve it with rigatoni, which holds up well to the thickness of the sauce, but feel free to use any pasta shape.
- 1 medium onion
- 1 large or 2 small carrots
- 2 to 3 stalks celery
- 1 ounce pancetta , very finely chopped
- 1 pound ground beef (not lean)
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1/8 tsp. freshly ground pepper
- Pinch allspice
- 1 cup whole milk
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 can (15 ounces) diced tomatoes with their juice
- 1 pound pasta , such as rigatoni
- Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese , for grating
Add milk. When it begins to simmer, reduce heat to low and cook at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally until milk has mostly boiled away, about 30 minutes. Add white wine and cook as with milk, until it has mostly boiled away. Add tomatoes and juice; bring to a simmer. Cover pot, reduce heat to low, and allow sauce to cook very gently at barest simmer, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Season to taste with remaining salt.
Just before sauce is done, bring a pot of water to boil, salt it generously, and boil pasta according to package directions. Drain, mix with a third of sauce, then serve with remaining sauce on top with lots of grated Parmigiano cheese.