Ragu Bolognese is one of my all time favorite ways to adorn pasta. When I eat at a good Italian restaurant, I almost always order it. When I travel abroad to Italy, I seek out tratorrias that have Ragu Bolognese featured on the menu. I love this thick, rich, meaty sauce.
Now, what I’m going to tell you about the recipe I’m sharing with you today, may strike you as, shall we say, a wee bit sensational. How many blogs have you read that claim whatever recipe they’re sharing is, “The Worlds Best,” “The Ultimate…..,” “Greatest Ever.” I mean Come ON!!! But this recipe……
So, all that said, I don’t even want to try and assign a title to it. You heard every expletives in the world to describe the “Best Ragu Bolognese Sauce In The World” so you probably are immune to the words. Let me just say………Please try this recipe! It’s so different, in my experience, from any other Ragu Bolognese Sauce I’ve ever had. It has an unbeleivable richness, tremendous depth of flavor, and a sublime, natural sweetness to it, that is beyond amazing!
The ingredients are the same as those you’d find in other Ragu Bolognese but the quantities are slightly different from most recipes. For instance, there’s more milk in this recipe than any other recipe I’ve ever made or had. The technique of cooking the sauce, while very simple, is a bit different. The results………..a sauce unlike any other I’ve ever tasted.
Recipe Notes: This recipe requires a significantly slow cooking process. As new ingredients are added, they’re simmered until they’re mostly evaporated, concentrating their essence and creating a flavor that isn’t acheived any other way. This is the key to this amazing sauce. Time is an element that can’t be cut or rushed. If you don’t have the time required, pick another ragu recipe. Because of this long cooking time, the sauce is best made in an enamel cast iron dutch oven. This type of cooking pot helps to diffuse the heat so the sauce won’t stick or scorch as easily. You will still need to be on hand to stir the sauce with regularity so make the sauce on a day you can hang out!
Source:Adapted from Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
Authentic Ragu Bolognese
- Olive Oil - 2 Tablespoons
- Unsalted butter - 8 Tablespoons
- Onion, Chopped - 1 Cup
- Celery, Chopped - 1 1/3 Cup
- Carrots, Chopped - 1 1/3 Cup
- Ground Beef Chuck - 1 Pound
- Ground Pork - 1/2 Cup
- Black Pepper
- Whole Milk - 2 Cups
- Grated Nutmeg - 1/8 Teaspoon
- Dry White Wine - 2 Cups
- Crushed Tomatoes, Including All Liquid - 1-28Ounce Can
- Spagetti or Like Shaped Pasta, - 1--1 1/2 Pound (Dry Measure)
1. In a large, very heavy bottom 5 quart pan heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat and stir until combined. Cook onion, stirring often, until onion is soft, about 5 minutes.
2. Add celery and carrot to pan and cook for 2 minutes, stirring to coat all the veggies well with oil mixture.
3. Add the ground beef and pork and 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, and cooking until the meat is no longer red or raw.
4. Turn the heat down to medium low and add the milk and nutmeg. Simmer gently, adjusting heat lower as needed to maintain a gentle simmer, stirring frequently, until most of the milk has evaporated, about 1 hour. (Hazan says until the milk is completely gone but I simmered it until the meat was still moist and there was a little bit of liquid left in the pan.)
5. Add the wine to the pan and continue to gently simmer as before, stirring often for about 1 1/4 hours. (Again, Hazan says until the milk is completely gone but I simmered it until the meat was still moist and there was a little bit of liquid left in the pan.)
6. Pour in the crushed tomatoes and stir well to combine. Adjust heat as necessary to maintain the"laziest of simmers, with just an intermittent bubble breaking through the surface."
7. Continue to cook, uncovered for 3 hours, stirring as needed. If sauce begins to dry out, the fat will separate from the meat. Add 1/2 cup of water as needed to keep the sauce from scorching and sticking to the bottom of the pan. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.
8. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to hot, just cooked and drained pasta and toss with the sauce. Serve.