Rusty’s Bolognese

1 T olive oil
4 oz pancetta, diced
1½ c chopped yellow onions
¾ c diced carrots
¾ c diced celery
1 T minced garlic
1 t salt
½ t ground black pepper
2 bay leaves
½ t dried thyme
¼ t dried oregano
½ t ground cinnamon
½ t ground nutmeg
1 lb ground beef or ground veal
½ lb pork sausage, removed from the casings, or ground pork
2 T tomato paste
1 c red wine
2 (14 ½-oz) cans crushed tomatoes and their juice
1 (14 ½-oz) can tomato sauce
1 c beef or chicken stock or broth
2 t sugar
¼ c heavy cream (or less)
2 T unsalted butter
3 T chopped fresh parsley leaves
1 lb spaghetti
1 c freshly grated Parmesan

In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until browned and the fat is rendered, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Add the beef and sausages, and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan and remove any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan, and until half of the liquid is evaporated, about 2 minutes.

Add the tomatoes and their juices, the tomato sauce, beef broth, and sugar and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the sauce is thickened and flavorful, about 1 ½ hours. Add the cream, butter, and parsley, stir well, and simmer for 2 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve. Serve with pasta of choice and grated cheese.

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