1/2 lb whole wheat pasta (I used rotini)
1 lb ground sirloin (Or whatever meat you prefer, round, chuck, veal, or a combo)
1 28 oz can crushed tomatoes
1 28 oz can whole tomatoes, crushed by hand, with juices
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 stalk of celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, peeled, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 cup button mushrooms, sliced
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 cup red wine (I used pinot noir)
1/2 cup low sodium beef broth
2 teaspoons dried oregano
3-4 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup milk or heavy cream (I used 1% milk) (optional)
1 bay leaf
1-2 tablespoons each of fresh parsley, chopped & basil chiffonade
salt & pepper to taste
Parmesan, or preferred cheese for topping (optional)On medium heat, add the olive oil & butter to a dutch oven or heavy pot. Add celery, carrots, mushrooms & onions and saute till soft & translucent, about 8-10 minutes.
Add garlic and meat to the vegetable mixture, and cook for about 8 minutes, or until no longer pink. Increase heat and add wine till it evaporates. Reduce heat back to medium, and add broth, tomatoes, oregano, bay leaf, salt & pepper, & tomato paste till simmering.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer partially covered for 1.5-2 hours. If using, in the last 20 minutes, slowly add milk/cream and fresh basil & parsley and stir.
Toss with al dente pasta, and top with cheese, if desired.