Bolognese Pasta Sauce
Older children can help you chop the onion, carrot and celery into a small dice. In a large saucepan, heat the oil and butter over medium heat. Add the diced onion, carrot and celery and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. Add the meat and continue to cook over medium heat, letting the children "smash 'n stir" with a wooden spoon to brown it evenly until it is no longer pink, about 3-4 minutes. Now have little ones pluck the thyme leaves from their stems, then parents or older children can chop or beat them slightly with a wooden spoon to release their oils. Add the herbs to the meat, and then have the kids add the wine and continue to cook, about 5 minutes, until it evaporates, stirring occasionally. Next they can add the milk and continue cooking until the liquid is evaporated. Now stir in the tomato purŽe and the nutmeg. Cook for about an hour more over medium heat until the sauce is thickened. Season to taste with kosher salt and black pepper. Serve over pasta, ravioli or stir into basic risotto. It is wonderful when topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.