gnocchi bolognese


2 oz. pancetta, chopped 
1 tsp. unsalted butter 
1 medium onion, chopped 
2/3 cup chopped celery 
2/3 cup chopped carrot 
1 garlic clove, minced 
1 lb. 93% lean ground beef 
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio 
1/2 cup fat-free milk 
1 lb. dried potato gnocchi
1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg 
2 1/2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
1 bay leaf 
6 tbsp. part-skim ricotta cheese ( I actually ended up using whole milk… you need to treat yourself every once in a while)
2 tbsp. chopped fresh basil
Freshly grated Pecorino Romano cheese or Parmesan cheese


Heat a dutch oven on medium high heat and add pancetta. Cook until the fat is rendered, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the butter, onion, celery, carrot, and garlic and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 to 7 minutes. Add the ground beef,] and salt and pepper to taste.

Brown the meat, using a wooden spoon to break it into small pieces as it cooks, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until it reduces, 1 to 2 minutes. Stir in the milk, gnocchi, and nutmeg. Add the crushed tomatoes, bay leaf, and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil, then cook, covered, over medium low heat for about 35 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cook the gnocchi separately according to package directions and add to the bolognese sauce to heat everything through.

Serve with dollops of ricotta, grated parmesan cheese and basil.