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Tomato Beef Pasta Sauce

This intensely flavorful tomato sauce for pasta contains ground beef, garlic, and herbs and should be served with a full-bodied red wine. The recipe is large enough to feed a family or to freeze half of the sauce for another occasion. Measurements for ingredients are flexible and can be adapted to your individual preferences or to accommodate whatever you have on hand . . .

1 extra-large (restaurant size) tin of crushed tomatoes (Heinz or ItalPasta preferred) or 4 large (28 oz) tins

1 extra-large package of extra-lean ground beef (4-5 lbs)

large palmful of coarse salt

1-2 bunches of garlic, roasted

2-3 bell peppers, roasted, peeled, juice drained

mushrooms

black or mixed olives to taste, broken into small pieces

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splash of Balsamic vinegar

splash of red wine

2 palmsful oregano leaves

1 palmful of dried basil

1 palmful of Tellicherry peppercorns, crushed

2-3 tbls Demerara sugar

2-3 tbls pine nuts, toasted

2-3 tbls fennel seed, toasted

a few rosemary branches, stripped and needles chopped

olive oil to cover pan

spaghettini or fusili noodles

ground or shredded Parmesan cheese

Heat oven to 300° F and place peppers on foil.  Trim tips from garlic bunches and place in oven.  Place fennel in a pan in oven until lightly browned, shaking pan occasionally to prevent burning.  Remove fennel from pan and place pine nuts in oven until golden brown.  Roast peppers on baking sheet, turning to blacken on all sides; place in deep bowl and cover with plate until cool; pierce bottoms and drain liquid; remove skin and seeds; dice.
Place olive oil in large Dutch oven and heat to high temperature.  Add ground beef, stirring constantly until evenly browned.  Add chopped mushrooms, continuing to stir.  Reduce heat and add crushed tomatoes, sugar, balsamic, and salt. Cook this mixture for half an hour on low heat.
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Mixed Olive Plate
Add remaining ingredients and continue to simmer for another half hour; flavors should be well married and ready to serve over your pasta.
In the last 30 minutes of cooking, boil water in a large stock pot for pasta. Cook according to package directions, from 10-20 minutes until al denté. Drain pasta well and toss with some coarse salt and a little flavored olive oil, if you have it. Grate some fresh parmesano reggiano for garnish. Serve with fresh Italian bread and a full-bodied red wine.  
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