Makes 8 servings
- 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
- 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, smashed
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 slices bacon, finely chopped
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 8 sprigs thyme
- 6 sprigs oregano
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb ground pork
- 1/3 cup Balsamic Vinegar of Modena P.G.I., plus more for finishing
- 2 (28 oz) cans San Marzano tomatoes, crushed
- 3/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
- 1 tablespoon salt, plus more to taste
- Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Basil chiffonade, as needed for garnish
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, as needed for garnish
- 1 lb spaghetti, cooked
- Put the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic in a food processor and pulse until the pieces are about the size of dried lentils. Set aside.
- Heat the oil in a large, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until the bacon is crispy and has rendered most of its fat.
- Add the reserved onion mixture and cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are well caramelized, about 25 minutes. Add the tomato paste, thyme, and oregano, and cook for another few minutes.
- Add the beef and pork and cook, stirring as needed to break up the meat, until well-browned, about 15 minutes.
- Deglaze the pan with the vinegar, scraping up the bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the tomatoes, cream (if using), and salt.
- Bring to a simmer, and cook until the sauce is a deep, ruddy red color, about 1 hour. Season with salt, pepper, and additional vinegar, to taste.
- Serve the sauce over the spaghetti. Garnish with basil, cheese, and a drizzle of vinegar before serving.