Martian Food
Sep 18, 2015

The Martian will be in theaters on October 2nd, and the critics are saying it is a spectacular film. The novel,&n

Marcella Hazan's Bolognese Sauce

Active time:1 hour,

Start To Finish:4 hours, At least 3 hours simmering, with occasional checks by the cook


Serving size: 6

Source: Classics of Italian Cooking; the New York Times Cooking

Can Be Made Ahead , Pasta
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1 Tbs. vegetable oil
3 Tbs. unsalted butter, plus 1 Tbs. for the pasta
½ cup chopped onion
⅔ cup chopped celery
⅔ cup chopped carrot
¾ lb. ground beef chuck
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole milk
⅛ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup dry white wine
1½ cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, cut up, with their juice
1 lb. pasta
freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


Put the oil, butter, and the onions in the pot and heat over medium.  Cook until the onions are translucent, about 15 minutes since you're starting from a cold pot.  Add the celery and the carrots, stir so that they are well coated, and cook for about 2 minutes.

Add the ground beef, a large pinch of salt and several grindings of pepper.  Cook the beef, stirring and seperating it with a fork, until the beef is no longer raw (it will still be pink in places.)

Add the milk and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the milk has evaporated.  Add about ⅛ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg and stir.  Add the wine and simmer until it has evaporated.  Add the tomatoes and stir to thoroughly coat all the ingredients.  Once the tomatoes begin to bubble, reduce the heat and simmer very gently for at least 3 hours.  As the sauce is simmering, check occasionally, and if the mixture begins to dry out, add ½ cup water whenever necessary.  After simmering for the 3 hours, the sauce is done when there is no water left and the fat has separated from the sauce.  Add salt to taste.

Cook the pasta according to the package directions.  Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the hot cooked, drained pasta, toss the pasta with the sauce and serve.  Pass the grated Parmesan at the table.


Separating the beef with the fork at the beginning of cooking results in beautifully separated meat that will be more uniformly distributed in the pasta.

We have found that one pound of pasta is plenty for 6 people, but if you have big eaters, cook 1¼ to 1½ lbs.  For the pasta, you can use tagliatelle or papardelle, or a tubular pasta such as penne rigate or rigatoni.

Drink with:

An Italian red: Chianti or barbera. You want a wine with high acidity and some tannins.

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