BASIC MEAT SAUCE
mince finely carrot, celery and onion. Italians do not like to see big chunks of vegetables in the meat sauce, so chop a super fine mirepoix
warm up extra virgin olive oil in a pot. I like clay or cast iron pots, but alluminium also works well.
Pay attention to not let the oil to smoke. If it does, throw it away and start again.
Add your mirepoix and let it cook gently.
You can add a pinch of salt, which helps, as it takes out the water from vegetables.
Then - bizarre........ - you have to add other water.
When you cook, it is a good habit to keep on the next burner some simmering vegetal broth.
Add a ladle of it when you hear the vegetable frrrrrrrrrrrrrying.
You wont "frrrrrrrrrry" the vegetables. Rather, let them sweat for about 10-12 minutes, until they are soft and they become transulucent.
Add the ground meat.
It can be just beef, or a mixture of beef and pork, beef and veal, veal and pork. In southern Italy it si common tu use also lamb.
Let it brown.
Then pour plenty red wine. I almost cover the meat, then I let it cook, stirring occasionally, on low heat until all the wine has gone. Smell it to understant if it has all evaporated.
Salt and pepper. Then you are free to create. My grandmother used to add a piece of lemon zest and a clove. Here in Firenze you can find a meat sauce aromatized with rosemary. Many people love garlic. Dry Porcini, softened and minced are another option.
I like a fresh bay leaf, just picked in the courtyard.
I "fold it" in two, so it releses all its fresh aroma.
Add pureed tomato, another ladle of broth. Put the lid on and let everything to mingle.