Ragù alla Bolognese
Ragù alla Bolognese, is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna, Italy. It is customarily used to dress tagliatelle pasta or lasagna in a
Bolognese sauce. Genuine ragù alla Bolognese is a slowly cooked sauce, and its preparation involves several techniques, including sweating, sautéing and braising. Ingredients include a characteristic soffritto of onion, celery and carrot, different types of minced or finely chopped beef, often alongside small amounts of fatty pork. Red wine and a small amount of tomato paste and tomatoes are added, and the dish is then gently simmered at length to produce a thick sauce.
While many traditional variations currently exist, in 1982 the Italian Academy of Cuisine published a recipe for authentic ragù alla Bolognese with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce (incorporating some fresh pancetta and a little milk). In Italy, ragù alla Bolognese is often referred to simply as ragù.
PREPARATION TIME: 2 hours – Makes 8 servings
2 tablespoons pure golden olive oil
½ pound pancetta, diced
1 onion, chopped No. 2 cutting cone
3 cloves garlic, minced and pureed with the side of a French chef knife
2 carrots, grated No. 1 cutting cone
2 stalks celery, grated No. 1 cutting cone
2 6 ounce cans tomato paste
1 cup red wine
1 pound fatty ground pork
1 pound ground chuck
1 6 pound 10 ounce can San Marzano Tomatoes
1½ cup milk
½ stick unsalted butter
Salt and pepper
1 pound Tagliatelle pasta
½ cup Parmesan cheese, grated No. 1 cutting cone
6-8 basil leaves, chopped
In a hot stockpot over medium-high heat 300˚F (150˚C), sauté the pancetta in olive oil until slightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add in the onion, garlic, carrots and celery (aromatic vegetables), and sweat down, about 5 to 7 minutes. Stir to prevent burning. "Sweating" simply means to soften the vegetables without browning to allow the flavors to mingle. Look for the vegetables to start glistening and softening around the edges.
Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the paste turns a reddish-brown in color, 3 to 5 minutes. Do not allow the residue that forms on the bottom of the pan to burn.
Deglaze the stockpot with wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has almost completely evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add the ground pork and beef. Season with salt and continue stirring until the meat is brown in color, about 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the tomatoes. Once the tomatoes have started bubbling, reduce the heat to medium-low 180˚F (80˚C) so the sauce is barely simmering.
Stir in the milk and add the butter, cook uncovered for 2 to 3 hours, or until the liquid evaporates to desired thickness. Remove the heat.
Serve over Tagliatelle pasta, top with grated cheese and chopped fresh basil.
NUTRITION: 214 calories; 11 g fat (4 g sat, 5 g mono); 49 mg cholesterol; 8 g carbohydrates; 15 g protein; 2 g fiber; 316 mg sodium; 420 mg potassium.