Sugo (Italian Meat Sauce)
- Sauces & Condiments
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
2 cups minced yellow onions
1 garlic clove
2 pounds lamb, coarsely ground
1/2 cup white wine
4 cups canned diced tomatoes, with juice
2 cups chicken stock, add more as needed
2 bay leaves
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, as needed
1 red bell pepper, quartered and seeded
1 red chile
- Heat the butter in a 5-quart pot (a Dutch oven is a good choice) over medium-low heat.
- Add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are tender, about 10 minutes.
- Add the lamb and cook, stirring to break up any large clumps, until the meat loses its raw color, 6 to 7 minutes.
- Add the wine and let it cook down until it has nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes.
- Add the tomatoes, stock and bay leaves. Bring the liquid to a gentle simmer over low heat, season with salt and pepper, partially cover the pot, and continue to cook very slowly until the sauce is half done, about 2 hours.
- At this point, add the bell pepper and the chile. Continue to cook until the sauce has thickened and reduced and has a rich flavor, another 2 hours. As the sugo cooks, stir it from time to time and add a bit more stock or water if it starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Remove and discard the peppers.
From The Culinary Institute of America, Gianni Scappin and Alberto Vanoli, Italian Cooking at Home with The Culinary Institute of America, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011; $34.95 hardcover.