I tried the famous recipe from Marcella Hazan, which was highly recommended by Martha herself. I followed directions for the most part. Though swayed by several reviews, I felt confident to make a couple substitutions that promised to either enhance, or at least, not hinder the results. I substituted red wine for white, and I used 2/3 ground beef + 1/3 ground pork, instead of all beef. I thought it was good, but not thee quintessential, perfect sauce everyone reports it to be.
Looking at even more reviews afterward, many actually do specify to make it EXACTLY as written, no substitutions. So next time, I will use white wine and beef only. But there's one more thing- this must be the Californian in me- I would have liked more actual tomato sauce in the outcome. The consistency was more like a chunky filling for cannelloni or lasagna, than a sauce for pasta.
I want to make it again as written. But I also am curious to see what will happen if I add an extra can of tomatoes to make it more saucy. I guess I'll have to have two pots of gravy going, and do the pepsi challenge to see which I prefer. Better stock up on good canned tomatoes.