- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef or meatloaf mix (beef, pork, veal)
- Kosher salt
- 2 medium carrots, roughly chopped
- 3 stalks celery, roughly chopped
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 1 pepper, roughly chopped
- 8 oz mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1-2 cups dry red wine
- 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
- 1 tsp. oregano
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp. sugar
- 1 pounds short pasta, like rigatoni or shells
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan
Heat a large Dutch oven with the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat with a liberal pinch of salt and cook until brown, about 4 minutes.
Meanwhile, combine the carrots, celery, peppers, mushrooms, and onions in a food processor and pulse to chop finely.
With a slotted spoon, remove the browned meat from the pan and set aside. Add the vegetables to the pan with a large pinch of salt and sweat until translucent and aromatic, 5 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and sweat 1 minute more. Deglaze the pan with the red wine, scraping the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to get all the browned bits into the sauce.
Bring to a simmer and cook until reduced by about half. Then add the tomatoes, oregano, bay leaf, and simmer for 10 minutes. Add the meat back into the pan and let simmer 20 to 30 minutes longer. Add the sugar near the end to cut some of the acidic flavor.
While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
When you have 10 minutes left for the sauce, drop the pasta into the boiling water and give a stir so it doesn't stick. When the pasta is cooked al dente, remove and set aside 1/2 cup of the pasta water, and then drain the pasta. Stir the pasta into the sauce to coat. Add the reserved pasta water, Parmesan, and continue to mix. Once everything is incorporated, remove from the heat and serve immediately.