Use pancetta or the traditional choice for this dish, guanciale. The meat gives this simple sauce a rich flavor. If you buy the meat at an Italian market, have the butcher slice it for you, and then cut it into strips when you get home.
If you are preparing this recipe in August or September, use fresh plum tomatoes, which are at the height of their season then. Cut them into large pieces, and run them through the food mill just as you would canned tomatoes. Slow cooking will allow the skin to melt into the sauce. For canned tomatoes, Mark likes to use Italian plum tomatoes from the San Marzano Valley.
Lucinda's version of bolognese sauce takes just a third of the time of the original to prepare. Serve it over spaghetti or any pasta you may have in the pantry.
From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).
Take a family favorite to new heights: Hot smoked paprika gives meatballs deep flavor and low, slow cooking ensures they're extra tender. These meatballs will also taste great made with ground turkey or beef.
Any type of ground meat will work with this recipe, but a blend of pork and beef will yield the best results. Serve the meatballs over your favorite pasta and freeze any leftovers in the sauce; they can be reheated for meatball sandwiches. From the book "Mad Hungry," by Lucinda Scala Quinn (Artisan Books).