RAGU BOLOGNESE (with Tagliatelle Pasta) aka Bolognese Meat Sauce Ingredients: 3-4 tbs. EVOO* 3-4 tbs. Butter 3-5 cloves Garlic, chopped fine. 3-4 Shallots - diced medium fine [d.m.f.] 1-2 medium Carrots - [d.m.f.] 1-2 stalks Celery - [d.m.f.] 3/4 kg coarsely ground Beef - regular fat. salt and pepper 1 1/4 cups dry Vermouth 1/4 cup 2% Milk 3/4 cup Whipping Cream (heavy cream would work well) handful of dried Parsley, Thyme, Sage. [PST] 1 Medium can of Chopped Tomatoes, undrained. (about 27 oz.) 2 tbs. Tomato Paste (not Sauce) 200g of dried, grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. Large, heavy saucepan. Saucepan Lid. Sharp knife. Heat. Measuring Cups Bowls. Kitchen Timer. Wooden spoon. Chopping board. Heat. *EVOO= Extra Virgin Olive Oyl. Get it in bulk and don't bother with any other. I don't use rapeseed oils generally because a) it was mostly used as a lubricant in WWII and b) it can contain amounts of erucic acid, which is mildly toxic. I know, it's all taken out of the junk you put in your food, but Olive Oil has a lovely flavor and is GOOD for YOU!! It's just a 'personal bias.' Move on. Things to do first - Prep work, etc. a) With the flat of your chef's knife - haha - really - bash the Garlic. This will split the skins and allow for easier peeling. It will also bruise the juice out of the garlic and allow faster infusion of flavor. Chop at will. b) Classic cutting of the Shallots, Carrots and Celery - like mirepoir in French cooking. c) Cut up and/or break up the ground Beef. During this time you can lightly season it with Salt and Pepper. Like most modern chefs, I find myself using Kosher Salt because i can gauge it's amount by the feel in my fingers. - Don't Over Season It - Cooking: Over Med-Hi Heat, put Large Heavy Sauce Pan. Add Oil and half the Butter. When they've melted but before they get hot, add the Garlic and the Shallots. Stir occasionally. Don't let them brown. If things start getting too hot, take Pan off the heat, don't try to drop the heat. [Gas is different, you can leave it on the element and drop the heat on the Gas ranges.] When the Garlic and Shallots have taken a GOLDEN color [note, the darker the color, the more burnt the sugars are and the more bitter the food - consider gold to be a brighter yellow color vs. light brown. That's the point where it gets bitter] Add the Carrots and Celery. Stir. When the Carrots and Celery begin to change color, add the Beef. Brown it, but don't let the fluids dry out during this period. Break up clumps with the Wooden Spoon (which is why i don't always use silicone spatulas - this needs some hard 'edge' to break up fatty tissues during the cooking process.) Add the Vermouth. Cook, while occasionally stirring. Once the Vermouth has complete evaporated, add the 1/4 cup Milk and 1/4 cup Cream [reserve the rest of the cream for the near end process.] Add the Handful of PST. Mix it up, stirring, allowing the foods to intermingle at temp. When most of the Milk and Cream have evaporated, add the Can'o'Tomatoes. Stir them in. When the flavors have mingled, and the heat has come back up [about 3-5 minutes] add the Tomato Paste and stir that into the mixture. Now, once the sauce is homogenous, turn the heat down to low, around 150degF, and pop the Lid over it. Make sure the Lid has a blow hole or you will have to crack it open later. Leave it closed for now. Finishing Off: Set the Timer for about 30 minutes. Go away and play some Halo. When the timer goes off, check the Sauce. Stir. Set the Timer for about 30 minutes. Play some more Halo. Repeat as necessary. All in all, the 'Cooking' part takes about 30 minutes, the 'Stewing part' takes about 2-2 1/2 hrs. Near the end, during the last 30-minute timer stage, add the Last of the Cream (about 1/2 cup) and the Grated Parma cheese. Stir it in. If the sauce looks too 'wet', leave the lid off or open. If it's looking a bit dry, add the last bit of butter and keep the lid on and shut down. That's about it. Blather: For this particular recipe I got paid $500 to feed six people basically Bolognese Spaghetti. They were 2 Greeks, 3 Italians and a Scotsman. There were no leftovers. I used Bucatini noodles, but any long thin noodle [except capelli d'angelo] will do nicely, as well as tagliatelle and other flat noodles. Avoid things like penne and other tubi maccheroni noodles, as this is a thick and lumpy sauce and won't penetrate well on short, fat and hollow-round noodles well.