Eight years ago, my husband and I traveled to L.A. to watch the Horns play for the national title. Alabama came away victorious, which didn’t necessarily hurt my Aggie feelings (which were still fully Big 12-rivalry envious at the time…I might feel differently these days!), but the trip was worth it because of a fun side trip to Malibu and Santa Barbara and all of the fabulous meals we had in SoCal that weekend. The standout for me, hands down, was Madeo. With its low ceilings and nondescript appearance, this West Hollywood Italian joint absolutely relies on consistent, authentic, delicious food to keep its doors rotating. It’s been around forever, and the celebs flock there as a place to see and be seen without really seeing and being seen. I didn’t spot anyone famous, but I did find the holy grail of pasta bolognese! The sauce was rich and meaty, and I’ve contemplated planning trips back west just to order this dish. I supposed it was probably my first real deal bolognese, and I’ve since been on a mission to find something even remotely comparable. This recipe is just about as good as it gets! It evokes that same richness, and the all-day simmering is one of my favorite things to do on a chilly rainy day like today. This is solidly on my list of go-to recipes that will easily please any crowd!
Rainy Day Bolognese
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 2 Tbs. minced onion
- 2 Tbs. minced carrot
- 2 Tbs. minced celery
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 12 oz. ground beef or a mix of 4 oz. each ground beef chuck, ground veal, and ground pork
- 1 c. whole milk
- 1 c. red wine
- 1 (28-oz) can whole tomatoes
- Heat butter in large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat; add onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and sauté until softened about 4 minutes.
- Add ground meat and 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Crumble and break apart meat into TINY PIECES until cooked through.
- Add milk and simmer until it evaporates, about 10 minutes.
- Add wine and simmer until it evaporates, about 10 minutes.
- Break up tomatoes (I usually do this in the food processor) and add tomatoes and their juice. Bring to a simmer and then reduce heat to low. Simmer just barely, continuing to stir regularly, until the liquid has evaporated, about 3 hours. Adjust seasonings with salt to taste and serve.