1/4 cup olive oil
3 carrots, peeled and finely chopped (use mini food processor if available)
3 stalks celery finely chopped (also in processor)
1 medium onion, small dice (not in processor)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped (any way you like)
1 lb. ground veal
1 lb. ground pork
2 lbs. ground beef
1/4 cup tomato paste
2 (28oz) cans Italian whole tomatoes, juices reserved and tomatoes hand crushed
4 sprigs fresh basil
2 bay leaves
1/2 cup half & half
salt and pepper to taste
Heat oil in large heavy pot over medium heat. Add carrots, celery and onion and cook, stirring often, until veggies are VERY soft, about 10-15 minutes. Add garlic and stir to combine. Increase heat to medium high and add the veal, pork and beef. Use the back of a wooden spoon to break up the meats and cook, stirring often, until all meat is browned, about 15-20 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste, crushed whole tomatoes and their juice, basil sprigs, bay leaves and half & half. Bring sauce to a boil on medium high heat, then reduce to medium low, partially cover and cook at a gentle simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
To finish, season with salt and pepper to taste.