When I think of Italian food, I think of garlic. Well I recently learned this was a rookie mistake with a super meaty pasta sauce. I was visiting some college friend in Omaha this weekend and decided to accompany game night’s wine with this hearty pasta.
Recipe from Making Life Delicious
6 oz. diced pancetta
4 tbsp butter
6 tbsp olive oil
1/2 c chopped onion
1/4 c diced carrot
1/4 c diced celery
1 tsp salt
2 lbs ground beef
2 cups dry white wine
1 c whole milk
1/4 tsp nutmeg
5 c canned chopped tomatoes with juice
cold water, as needed
2 lbs pappardelle pasta
Yes, this sauce has no garlic. The original blogger I discovered this sauce from couldn’t believe it either. I’ve made this sauce twice and both times I’ve found myself at the grocery store checking if I grabbed the garlic or not. But realizing its not on the list.
Pancetta is a type of bacon. Boar’s Head makes a packaged died version. You can find by the deli or fancy cheeses. In a small pan, sauté the pancetta until crispy. Once its looking dark and crispy, set it aside on some paper towel to soak up the grease.
For the main pan, you need a big stock pot. It needs to be wide, not necessary tall, but the taller the better. In the pot over medium heat, add the butter and oil until melted.
Then mix in the carrot, onion, and celery combo. You can chop these elements in a food chopper, if you have one handy. Add ½ tsp of salt. Wait until browned, about 10-15 minutes.
Drop in the cooked pancetta and two cuts of wine. A good dry white wine is Chardonnay. I typically love Riesling and actually stumbled on a dry Riesling at the store.
Add the tomatoes and their juice straight from the can along with a cup of cold water.
This is when the magic starts to happen. Turn the burner down to the lowest setting, like 1 or 2 on the scale.
Add a cup of water once an hour as well. And that’s it. Nothing else is added in. No garlic. SO much flavor.
You can pair with your pasta of choice, but pappardelle is my absolute favorite. Since it’s a wide egg pasta, it works well with the meatiness of this sauce. Helps grab the meat.
Parmesan cheese, specifically parmigiano reggiano, is salty so definitely top the pasta and sauce with some cheese since not much salt was in the recipe.