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Orecchiette Bolognese

OK, this recipe requires a million ingredients. . but after you taste this, you will understand why. Hope you enjoy!
Course: Main
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Food & Wine


  • 1 1/4 pounds thickly sliced smoked ham torn into small pieces
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 1/4 pounds ground beef chuck
  • Pinch of ground cloves
  • 1 celery rib finely chopped
  • 1 carrot finely chopped
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves very finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped sage
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 1/2 cups dry red wine
  • One 28-ounce can tomato puree
  • 2 cups chicken stock or low-sodium broth
  • Pinch of sugar
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup vacuum-packed chestnuts coarsely chopped (4 ounces); optional
  • 2 tablespoons very finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
  • Salt
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving


  • Pulse the ham pieces in a food processor until they are coarsely chopped. In a large, deep casserole or Dutch oven, heat the olive oil. Add the chopped ham, beef chuck and cloves and cook over high heat, stirring once or twice, until the meat begins to brown, about 10 minutes.
  • Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic to the casserole and cook, stirring, until the vegetables are barely softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the sage, rosemary and crushed red pepper and cook until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the red wine and cook until it is nearly evaporated, about 10 minutes. Add the tomato puree, chicken stock and sugar, season with pepper and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Simmer uncovered over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick and reduced by half, about 45 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the orecchiette until al dente.
  • Stir the heavy cream into the bolognese sauce and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the chopped chestnuts and parsley and season lightly with salt. Drain the pasta and transfer to a large bowl. Spoon the bolognese sauce over the pasta and serve, passing the Parmesan on the side.