A NOTE FROM EXECUTIVE CHEF BILL SCATENA “Growing up, my mom and dad shared cooking responsibilities. I always refer to Mom as garde manger (pantry chef) and Dad as hot line. Dad makes pasta sauce in a blue oval Dutch oven from the 1950s that belonged to his mother. Like the rings of a tree, this pot has layers of sauce ingrained in the sides of it from years of cooking. He has made it clear that if the house were burning down, this pot is one of the first things to be saved. In this bolognese, a combination of ground veal and pork offers delicate flavor, while simmering the sauce for a very long time develops depth and richness.”

Veal Bolognese with Sage

Serves 4


3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

¾ pound ground veal, local if possible

½ pound ground unseasoned pork, local if possible

1 tablespoon fennel seed, crushed with the back of a pan

2 cups cremini mushrooms, stems removed and caps finely diced

1 cup finely diced carrot

1½ cups minced shallot

10 medium cloves garlic, minced

2½ tablespoons fresh sage, thinly sliced, plus more for garnish

1 tablespoon rosemary, finely chopped

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1¾ cups Marsala wine

6 cups whole milk

3-inch rind of Parmigiano-Reggiano

Kosher salt and cracked black pepper, to taste

1 pound cooked fresh bucatini (recipe) or store-bought pasta


Heat a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes. Add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, then stir in veal, pork, and fennel seed. Sauté until meat is browned and fennel is fragrant and toasted, about 8-10 minutes. Add mushrooms and carrots and cook until soft and tender, about 5-8 minutes. Add shallots, garlic, sage, and rosemary and continue to cook over medium heat until shallots are soft and the bottom of the pan starts to caramelize. Stir in tomato paste and cook until toasted, about 45 seconds. Add Marsala to deglaze, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Simmer, uncovered, until the liquid is reduced by half, then stir in milk and parmesan rind. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Reduce heat to very low and gently simmer, covered, for 1 hour. Taste and adjust for seasoning, adding more milk if needed. Continue to simmer over low heat until sauce has thickened and meat is tender, about 1 hour longer.

Using an immersion blender, gently pulse the sauce to break up any larger pieces of meat. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. At this point, the Bolognese can be made one or two days in advance. When you are ready to serve, return sauce to a simmer. Stir in freshly cooked al dente pasta, adding 1-2 ladles of pasta water to thin sauce to desired consistency. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes until flavors blend and pasta is thoroughly coated, and serve. Garnish with freshly chopped sage.

Pair with our Merlot 2014


Photo by Andrea Hubbell

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