Serves 6 

This is a perfect recipe for a lazy Sunday when time is on your side. You start with a few ingredients and then you forget about it for a few hours, let it simmer and develop the most amazing rich flavors, until you’re left with a deliciously rich Ragu. This recipe can be substituted with ground beef if that’s all you can find.

3 Tablespoons olive oil

4 small carrots, peeled and finely diced 

2 celery ribs, peeled and finely diced

1 large red onion, very finely diced

3 garlic cloves, grated 

1 1/2 tablespoons whole fennel seeds, ground in a spice grinder or with a mortar-and-pestle 

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 1/2 pounds of lamb, casings removed

1/2 pound of meatball mix (equal parts  ground beef, and veal)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper 

Red pepper flakes

1/2 (750-milliliter) bottle dry red wine

2 (28-ounce) cans whole San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand

2 long hot Italian peppers, thinly sliced 

3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

4 bay Leaves

Balsamic vinegar

Heat the oil in a large Dutch oven or other large  heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high  heat until shimmering.  Add the carrots, celery, and onion and cook until the vegetables have softened and the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, fennel, and oregano and cook until fragrant, 1 minute. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until darkened in color, 1 to 2 minutes. 

Stir in the sausage and meatball mix, stirring and breaking up with a spoon. Season with salt and pepper and a pinch of pepper flakes and continue stirring  until the meat has lost almost all its pink. Stir in the wine and cook until it is reduced by half, about 8 minutes. Add the tomatoes, peppers, Worcestershire sauce, and bay leaves and bring everything to a boil over . Reduce the heat to medium so that the sauce is just gently bubbling.

Cook for 2 hours or until the sauce is your desired thickness, stirring occasionally. Finish with a splash of balsamic and stir well to combine. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper .

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