Sugo di Carne
Three 35-ounce cans Italian Plum Tomatoes
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large onion, diced (about 2 cups)
6 to 8 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped fine
1 lb. lean ground beef
1 lb. ground veal
1-1/2 tsps dried oregano
1 cup dry red wine
Pepperocino to taste
1 lb. penne pasta
1 lb. container whole milk ricotta cheese
Grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella
Heat the olive oil in a heavy 4 to 5 quart pot over medium heat. Add the onions and pepperoncino to taste and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden. Add the garlic and cook ,stirring until the garlic is lightly browned, about 2 minutes. Add the ground beef and veal and season lightly with salt. Cook, stirring to break up the meat, until the meat changes color and the water it gives off is boiled away, about 10 minutes. Continue cooking until meat is browned. Add the oregano, then pour in the wine. Bring to a boil and cook until the wine is almost completely evaporated.
Pass tomatoes through the blender and add to the meat mixture. Bring to a boil, adjust the heat to simmer and cook, uncovered, stirring often until the sauce takes on a deep red color, 2 to 3 hours. Add salt and pepper to your taste. If you have a piece of Parmesan or Pecorino cheese rinds (save them!) and add to simmering sauce. This sauce can be prepared in advance and refrigerated up to 5 days, or frozen for up to 3 months.
When sauce is finished cooking, cook pasta according to package directions to al dente. Place cooked pasta into a 13 x 10 baking dish. Add about 4 cups of meat sauce and dollops of ricotta cheese and grated Parmesan cheese to the pasta. Stir gently until well combined. Top with additional 2 cups of meat sauce and mozzarella cheese. Bake at 375 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until cheese is browned and bubbly.
This makes quite a bit of sauce - enough to feed a small crowd and have enough left over to freeze in small quantities for a quick pasta meal for one or two.
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