I am making the Lighter Contemporary Ragu Bolognese from page 46 of The Splendid Table. I've made plenty of pasta sauce before, but I usually go for quick-cooking stuff and work without a recipe, and I wanted to give this a go just to see how it turned out. So far... well, hmm.
It's not reducing at all; after almost an hour, the level of liquid has only increased due to the milk I've been adding. Now, I've turned the heat up a bit (almost to medium, actually) in order to get things working, but is she serious when she says to keep the heat very low? The sauce isn't reducing at all, and I'm quite confident that I could have left it out for days and there would be the same amount of liquid in the pot.
Also, the tomato paste? There's basically no tomato flavor to the sauce with only 2T of paste to 1.25 lbs meat plus mirepoix, etc. Really?
Further / finally, I was surprised by the lack of both garlic and herbs of any sort. I'm basically planning on scrapping the recipe and adding in some crushed red pepper and fresh parsley, just so the sauce has, you know, flavor.
I guess my real question is: I've never been to Italy, nor have I experienced much of what I would call authentic Italian food, so is the sauce supposed to be basically nothing but ground beef and mirepoix? Because, frankly, it sounds kind of boring, and it's not very tasty.
I am at a point where I wish I had considered the recipe before I started cooking, because if I had, I would have just made the standard pasta sauce I always make (mirepoix, garlic, 2 cans crushed fire roasted tomatoes, ground beef, basil, crushed red pepper, done in like 20 minutes).
Thanks for any advice!