3 celery sticks
3 cloves garlic
1 bunch fresh thyme
3 bay leaves
3 cups red cooking wine
12 oz tomato paste
3 lb ground beef
Step 1: Put garlic, onion, carrot, and celery in the food processor. Grind until nice and pasty, then put in pot with some oil with about a TBSP of salt. Cook on medium high until the water is mostly gone and the veggies are browning. (15-20 min)
Step 1.5(Optional): For a more wholesome, traditional taste, add a small carton of chopped mushrooms and a chopped bell pepper. Cook until the peppers are soft. If you forget this step until later, its probably best not to add the peppers.
Step 2: Add the beef. Cook on high until the beef is fairly browned throughout. (15-20 min) Pour off some of the excess fat.
Step 3: Add the tomato paste. Cook about 5 minutes.
Step 4: Add the wine. Cook another 5 minutes.
Step 5: Add the thyme stems, bay leaves, and a few cups of water. Cook on low for a few hours, stirring occasionally.
Step 6: Boil off some water if the sauce isn’t quite thick. Salt to taste. Remove thyme and bay leaves if possible. Serve with pasta.
Variation: For a quicker sauce with more zesty surface flavor, brown the beef first in the main pot. Pour off fat, then add veggies and olive oil. (Don’t use the mushrooms or peppers, they can’t cook enough with this method) Cook veggies for only about 10 minutes. Do step 3 and 4. In step 5, skip the bay leaves and shave the thyme leaves off of the stems into the pot instead of just putting the stems in. Cook on low for about 20 minutes, then go to step 6.
Based on: Pasta Bolognese by Anne Burrill