Bolognese is a classic ragu that originates from Bologna. This is my “go-to” meat sauce. It is probably the most favorite dish in my household. When I ask “Hey, what do you guys want for dinner”? Pasta alla Bolognese comes up 9 out of 10 times.
There are a few things that makes Bolognese different from other meat sauces. This ragu does not call for much tomato. In fact, only 2 – 3 tablespoons of tomato paste is needed. The use of milk is another ingredient that is not usually seen in meat sauces. Bolognese is traditionally made with two types of meat, ground pork and ground beef, or veal. I’ve experimented, and have made this same sauce, but substituted the pork and beef, with chicken. It makes a nice alternative for those who do not eat pork or red meat.
Stay tuned, In the next week or so, I will be posting the recipe for Lasagna Bolognese, using this wonderful ragu.
Take 1 large celery stalk, 1 large onion and 2 medium carrots and finely dice.
Put 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a heavy pot or dutch oven. Take about 4 ounces of diced pancetta and saute until browned.
Add the diced carrots, celery and onion to the lightly browned pancetta.
Cook until the onions are translucent, making sure not to let it burn.
Now it’s time to add the ground meats. Here, I’ve added 3/4 pound of ground pork and 3/4 pound of ground veal.
Brown the ground meats until no longer pink.
Add 2/3 cup of dry white wine. Red is okay to use if you don’t have any white wine.
Once the wine has cooked down, add 2/3 cup of beef or chicken broth made from boullion. This will provide the majority of the salt needed, with lots of flavor, to boot.
Your sauce will now take on some color with 3 tablespoons of tomato paste.
Season with pepper and salt, if needed. Cover and cook on low heat for at least 1 hour. You can cook the sauce for up to 2 1/2 hours.
Add about 1/4 cup of milk, every 20 to 30 minutes or if the sauce looks like it’s drying out.
Check on the sauce occasionally, and give it a good stir.
Serve over Tagliatelle, Pappardelle or Fettuccine, and top with grated Parmesan. Enjoy!
3/4 pound ground pork
3/4 pound ground veal
1 large onion
2 medium carrots
1 – 2 stalks celery, depending on size
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 ounces diced pancetta
2/3 cup beef or chicken broth, made from bouillon
2/3 cup dry white or red wine
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 1/2 cup milk (whole or 2%)
Salt & pepper
1 pound Tagliatelle or Fettuccine
Finely dice the onion, celery and carrots and set aside. Using a heavy bottomed pot, saute the pancetta in a tablespoon of olive oil, making sure not to burn it. Add the onion, celery and carrots and cook until the onions are translucent.
Add the ground pork and veal, and brown until no longer pink. Add the wine. Once the wine cooks down, add the broth made from bouillon, and mix well. The bouillon will provide most of the salt. Now add 3 tablespoons of tomato paste.
Season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook on low heat for at least 1 hour. This ragu can be cooked for up to 2 1/2 hours. Make sure to check on it occasionally. Every 20 to 30 minutes, add 1/4 cup of milk and stir. If the sauce looks like it is drying out, add some milk. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Serve over Tagliatelle or Fettuccine and top with grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!