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Spaghetti Al Sugo 'Metà e Metà'
[Spaghetti with "Half and Half" Sauce]
From The Fine Art of Italian Cooking, by Giuliano Bugialli

Meat sauces which combine several different types of meat occur throughout Italy. This sauce mixing two meats is about as far as they go in Tuscany, where the emphasis is usually on simplicity and a minimum of ingredients. However, the two meats, flavored with odori [aromatic vegetables], sage, wine, and spices, merge into a straightforward flavor still expressive of the Tuscan palette.


1 medium red onion, cleaned
1 celery stalk
1 carrot, scraped
10 sprigs Italian parsley, leaves only
1 large clove garlic, peeled
4 large leaves sage, fresh or preserved in salt
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup dry white wine
8 ounces ground beef
8 ounces ground pork
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Large pinch of hot red pepper flakes
6 tablespoons tomato paste, preferably imported Italian
2 cups beef broth, preferably homemade
1 pound spaghetti, preferably imported Italian

To cook the pasta:

Coarse-grained salt


Finely chop onion, celery, carrot, parsley, garlic, and sage all together on a board. Heat the oil in a medium-sized casserole, preferably of terra-cotta, over medium heat and when the oil is warm, add the chopped ingredients and sauté for 10 minutes, stirring every so often with a wooden spoon. Add the wine, raise the heat, and cook for 2 minutes more. Add the meats, lower the heat, season with salt, pepper, and hot pepper flakes, and cook for 15 minutes. Dissolve the tomato paste in the broth and add to casserole. Simmer, covered, for 1 hour, stirring every so often with a wooden spoon.

Bring a large pot of cold water to a boil, add coarse salt to taste, then the pasta and cook it for 9 to 12 minutes, depending on the brand. Taste the sauce and transfer to a large skillet over medium heat. Drain the pasta, transfer to the skillet and sauté over high heat for 30 seconds. Serve hot directly from the skillet without adding cheese.

Yield: Serves 4 to 6

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