Oh my. Pasta sauce with meat and ham? My meat-loving firefighter husband loved the idea. I only had a couple of changes to the recipe, in italics below, it was pretty darn flawless. We opened a bottle of wine to cook with and got started on the recipe from Epicurean.com:
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound ground beef (Lean, like 10% fat so you don’t have to stop and drain the pan, right?)
2 medium onions, sliced (My daughter thought there was too much onion, chopping them next time to disguise them better.)
8 ounces sliced cremini mushrooms – as every pasta must have mushroom according to my kid!
2 cloves garlic, finely chopped (Of course I used 4, I’m Italian!)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves, crushed (I crushed those dry puppies between my fingers, easy peasy.)
1/2 teaspoon pepper
*1/4 pound prosciutto, cut into thin strips (We used about 9 ounces, 3 of those packages you find in the deli section. Already in thin slices I just pulled them apart in tiny strips.)
2 cups dry red wine
2 cans (28 oz. each) tomatoes, undrained
1 pound rotini or mostaccioli (We used elbows so we could eat with big spoons while watching an episode of BBC’s Sherlock)
Grated Parmesan cheese
*Thinly sliced smoked ham can be substituted for the prosciutto
1. Heat oil in Dutch oven. Cook and stir ground beef, onion and garlic in oil until meat is light brown and onion is tender.
2.Stir in remaining ingredients except pasta and cheese; cover. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce has thickened, about 1 1/2 hours.*
3. Cook Pasta according to package directions; drain. Serve sauce on hot cooked pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
*Sauce can be made ahead and stored covered in the refrigerator no longer than 24 hours. To serve, heat until hot.