Got this recipe from Stir, Barbara Lynch’s demonstration kitchen in the South End. It’s the recipe used at Sportello and The Butcher Shop and it is damn delicious. The unique contribution is the addition of chicken livers to the standard array of ground meats. A pox on you if you omit the chicken livers.
Basically you make a battuto, soften it up in some oil, then add the chopped liver, some chopped sage, salt and pepper and cook it up until the livers just turn brown.
Start adding the ground meat browning a bit at a time as you add. The recipe calls for veal, pork, and lamb which is a great combo, though I’ve used a number of varieties of meat and different combinations that work just as well (beef, buffalo, boar, all pork, all lamb, etc…). At this point I like to add nutmeg and cinnamon as well. I guess you’re supposed to “pour off the fat” now too, though why I would do that is beyond me. All that delicious flavor that will thicken and incorporate into the sauce with enough time is exactly what I don’t want to remove. Next comes the red wine, crank heat up to high and boil until it’s almost gone. I’ve been told that you should cook with the same wine you’re drinking, but I’d like to meet the person who could tell the difference. I use whatever is cheap or been opened for a while.
Next come the chopped tomatoes, chicken broth, and chopped basil…
Simmer on low until it reaches your desired consistency. I like it extra thick. Like sloppy joethick. If you aren’t going to pout off the fat then you’ll want to give it a good long while (1:30-2 hours) to make sure you’re not ending up with an oily sauce. Don’t worry if it gets a bit dry, the wetness will come by either adding some cream (as I did below) or just a little pasta water.
For a thick meat sauce like this fresh pasta is strongly recommended since the sauce will stick to fresh pasta far better than dried pasta. You will be surprised how little sauce you will need per serving. Once you cook the pasta just drop it straight into the sauce, mix around, and serve.Yum.