Il Corvo Ultimate Bolognese Sauce


spice mix:
2 bay leaves
3 whole cloves
2 teaspoons fennel seeds
1½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon black peppercorns

sauce:
1 Tablespoon olive oil
3 ounces chicken livers, rinsed, finely chopped
1½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more
Freshly ground pepper
½ large onion, finely chopped
½ small bunch thyme
¼ cup Mama Lil's Kick Butt Peppers in Oil or Peppadew peppers
5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 14-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes
½ cup red wine
1¼ lb. ground beef chuck (20% fat)
1½ cups whole milk
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

pasta and assembly:
12 ounces pappardelle pasta
4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
3 ounces Parmesan, finely grated (about ¾ cup)

Prepare the spices:  Toast the spices in a dry small skiller over medium heat, tossing often, until fragrant, about 2 minutes (this releases their flavor).  Let cool, then finely grind in a spice mill (or use a mortar and pestle).

Make sauce:  Preheat oven to 250°. Heat oil in a medium ovenproof pot over medium-high.  Add livers and stir to coat. Season with salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until livers are deeply browned - almost burned, really - 5-8 minutes.

Add onion, thyme, and peppers, stir to coat. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring as needed, until onion is brown and soft, 5-8 minutes more. Stir in garlic and cook until soft, about 2 minutes. Stir in spice mixture and 1½ teaspoons salt.

Add tomatoes, then wine, stirring and scraping up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add meat and stir to combine (the mixture will be fairly stiff but will loosen as it cooks). Add milk and mix well - everything should be evenly coated.

Cover pot with a lid and transfer to oven; bake for 6 hours.

Remove pot from oven. The sauce will have firmed up, stir to loosen. Pluck out thyme and, using an immersion blender, puree sauce until smooth.  Add vinegar and season with salt and pepper.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta just until barely tender. Do not overcook. Reserve the pasta water (at least a cup and a half).

To serve the sauce, toss pasta and butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Ladle in bolognese and toss until pasta is well coated (about 2 cups). Toss and add pasta cooking liquid as needed to create a glossy sauce that coats the noodles.  Toss with Parmesan and serve.

The Italian Dish
theitaliandishblog.com