1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 medium celery rib, finely chopped
2 oz. thickly sliced pancetta, finely diced
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground veal
1/2 lb. ground pork
2 large garlic cloves, chopped
3/4 cup dry white wine
1 (28-oz) peeled Italian tomatoes - seeded, finely chopped and juices reserved
1 cup chicken stock
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 bay leaf
Salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup heavy cream
2 lbs. penne rigatoni
Freshly grated Parmesan
Heat 1 Tb. olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan, until shimmering. Add the onion, carrot, celery and pancetta and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened but not browned, about 8 minutes. Scrape the vegetable mixture into a large bowl.
Add the remaining 3 Tb. of olive oil to the saucepan and heat until just shimmering. Add the beef, veal and pork, and cook over moderately high heat until just barely pink, about 5 minutes. Return the vegetable mixture to the saucepan. Add the garlic and cook over high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost evaporated, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, the chicken stock, thyme and bay leaf. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat for 1 hour. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the heavy cream and cook the sauce just until heated through.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente. Drain well, return to the pot and toss with the sauce. Serve the pasta in deep bowls and pass the Parmesan at the table.