Where to begin with this sauce. Well I’ll start by saying I have made this more times than I can count because it truly is one of my easiest recipes that sounds impressive and difficult but is actually the opposite. Due in part to the fact that it requires barely any chopping. That’s right, I repeat, barely any chopping! Thanks to my good friend the food processor….I’ll explain. I was watching the Food Network (as it’s a part of my daily life) and Chef Anne Burrell who is one of my favorites due to her kick ass attitude and the cooking chops to match, was making a 4 hour bolognese. I was so interested how the heck could a meat sauce take 4 hours and would it be worth it? Now please don’t get nervous, I’ll tell you right now there is no way I would stand over a stove for 4 hours cooking one meal (with the exception of thanksgiving) . I have altered this fit a busy, slightly ADD, impatiently hungry lifestyle and the only thing that was sacrificed here was time, it had all the flavor!
Ok so back to the food processor and no chopping, the base of this sauce starts like many other sauces and soups, with a mirepoix. This is a french term but if you ever see a recipe calling for this it will typically mean celery, carrot, and onion (25% celery, 25% carrot, 50% onion). I use my food processor to do all the work in chopping this mirepoix because this allows for the vegetables to be chopped extremely fine, in turn makes them completely melt into the sauce like magic. I’d say this is one of my secrets to the recipe that I learned from Chef Anne.
Another pointer that I want to stress is this sauce does take a little patience (not 4 hours patience). And by that I mean each step needs to be done and done well, everything added to the pan needs to be browned. Whether thats the mirepoix, tomato paste, meat. Each step you must take the time to slowly cook the ingredients and create some browning magic because that is where all the richness and flavor will really set this sauce apart from the rest.
Now let’s get cooking!
2 cups Carrot (about 2 carrots, rough chop)
2 cups Celery (about 2 ribs, rough chop)
3 cups Onion (about 2 Onions, rough chop)
3 tbs. Olive Oil (plus more if needed)
1 6oz. can Tomato Paste
Salt and Pepper (divided about 2 tbs. total of each)
6 Cloves of Garlic (minced, about 1 heaping tbs.)
1 lbs. Ground Turkey
1- 1 1/2 lbs. Ground Chuck
1 1/2 tsp. Onion Powder
1 1/2 tsp. Garlic Powder
1 1/2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 1/2 cups Cabernet
1 28 oz. can San Marzano Tomatoes (peeled, with liquid)
Method to the madness:
- Add celery, carrot, onion and a tsp of olive oil to a food processor and pulse about 4 times until the vegetables start to move. Then on high speed let run until the vegetables have almost turned into a paste (see picture above). You may have to scrape the sides of the bowl a few times.
- In a big dutch oven or stock pot bring 2 tbs. of olive oil to medium high heat and add the mirepoix mixture (about 2 1/2 cups pressed) and a pinch of salt and pepper. Saute until browned on medium or medium low heat about 10 minutes. If you see the pan starting to dry out add a touch more olive oil.
- Then add mince garlic and stir until fragrant about 1 minute, add the entire can of tomato paste, stir to incorporate and cook out slightly about 5 minutes.
- Add the ground turkey and ground chuck, another pinch of salt and pepper into the pot and brown the meat, about 15 minutes stirring occasionally.
- Add the wine (and pour a glass for yourself of course), garlic powder, onion powder, italian seasoning, and the 28 oz. can of tomatoes. Crush tomatoes with spoon to break up and incorporate.
- Cook on low heat with the lid partially covering the pot for 45 minutes to 1 hour for best results stirring every 10-15 minutes or so. If the sauce begins to look a little dry add a few tbs. of water and continue to cook. The sauce should reduce down and meat should absorb the liquids so that the sauce is moist and tender but not as saucy at a regular meat sauce would be.
- It’s really a beautiful thing eat over pasta, bread, in a lasagna, or however your heart desires, garnish with parmesan cheese and basil leaves. ENJOY! 🙂