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Bolognese Ragu

Ragu alla Bolognese


A ragu Bolognese style is a meat sauce that is slow simmered for at least an hour to develop a complex flavor and proper thickness. Cooking the ragu in a heavy-duty enamel or similar pot will hold the heat steady and help to give a velvety texture to the ragu. Bolognese ragu is a classic sauce for lasagne and tagliatelle. The sauce also freezes beautifully.


1/4 pound pancetta

1 small red onion, peeled and quartered

1 medium carrot, peeled and quartered

1 medium rib celery, quartered

2 tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

1/2 pound skirt steak or chuck blade steak, coarsely ground

1/2 pound boneless veal shoulder, coarsely ground

1/2 pound boneless pork loin, coarsely ground

1/2 to 1 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Pinch ground nutmeg (optional)

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 cup dry red wine

1/2 cup milk or cream


Mince the pancetta, onion, carrot, and celery together and set aside.

Heat the olive oil in a heavy duty Dutch-oven-type pot. Cook the pancetta and minced vegetable mixture over low heat uncovered for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the ground meats, salt, pepper, and nutmeg and brown them completely. Stir the tomato paste into the wine and add it to the meat mixture. Simmer the ingredients uncovered for 45 minutes, adding the milk or cream a little at a time to keep the mixture from sticking while it cooks. The milk also lends richness and creaminess to the sauce.

The sauce should have a thick consistency.


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