Culinary SOS: Classic meat sauce is thick, rich
LOS ANGELES -- Dear SOS: I read your articles every week, and I am finally writing to ask for a recipe, because my husband and I are crazy about the Bolognese sauce at Cafe Pierre, in Manhattan Beach, Calif. Although this is a French restaurant, its sauce puts most Italian restaurants in the L.A. area to shame. I haven't been able to duplicate this one at home, so I need your help. -- Denni Kopelan, Hermosa Beach, Calif.
Dear Denni: Cafe Pierre was happy to share its take on this thick, rich meat sauce.
Serves 4 to 6. Prep time: 1 hour, 40 minutes. Adapted from Cafe Pierre. Veal stock can be found at many cooking supply stores and gourmet markets.
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 pounds ground beef
1 carrot, finely diced
1/2 onion, finely diced
2 ribs celery, finely diced
3 large cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons dry white wine
5 tablespoons (3 ounces) tomato paste
1/4 cup veal stock or beef broth
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
1 pound spaghetti, cooked al dente
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano, to taste
MELT the butter with the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add the meat and brown, stirring frequently, 10 to 15 minutes, careful not to burn.
STRAIN the meat from the pan, using a slotted spoon, leaving the fat (it will seem like a lot of fat, but the fat will be absorbed into the sauce as it slowly cooks).
ADD the carrot, onion and celery to the pan, stirring until the vegetables are translucent and soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in the garlic.
ADD the tomato paste and cook for 5 minutes to marry the flavors. Stir in the white wine and cook until the wine is reduced, about 5 minutes.
STIR the meat back into the pan along with the veal stock, thyme, 1 teaspoon salt and one-half teaspoon pepper, or to taste. Gently cook over low heat until the flavors are married, 45 minutes to an hour, stirring occasionally. Serve with the spaghetti and grated Parmigiano to taste.
Nutrition information: Per each of 6 servings without Parmigiano: 779 calories, 46 grams protein, 63 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams fiber, 36 grams fat, 14 grams saturated fat, 142 milligrams cholesterol, 5 grams sugar, 111 milligrams sodium.