ragù alla bolognese

ragù alla bolognese

5 cups meat sauce

Our version of the classic sauce from Emilia-Romagna includes sweet Italian sausage and pancetta along with the ground meat for a wonderful depth of flavor. Serve the sauce over a wide pasta, such as tagliatelle, preferably fresh, topped with some grated Parmigiano-Reggiano. This recipe makes enough ragù for about 3 pounds of pasta; if you're not feeding a crowd, know that the sauce freezes beautifully so you can portion and freeze what you don't need right away. If veal is unavailable, use 1 pound each beef and pork.







Purée tomatoes and their juice in blender until smooth; set aside.

In a small saucepan, bring 1 1/2 cups water to a simmer; whisk in tomato paste and beef base. Remove from heat; set aside.

Make a battuto (the foundation for many Italian soups, stews and sauces) by finely chopping together (by hand) celery, onion and carrot.

Heat butter over medium-low heat until melted and foaming; add battuto, sausage and pancetta. Cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until sausage is broken into small bits, then continue cooking, stirring frequently, until vegetables are softened (do not brown), about 25 minutes.

Add beef, pork and veal; increase heat to medium. Cook, stirring until meat is broken into small bits, then season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly for 10 minutes more (do not brown).

Add wine; bring to a boil and cook until wine and juices in pot are mostly evaporated, 3 to 5 minutes. Add reserved puréed tomato, reserved beef base mixture and bay leaf.

Cook ragù at the barest simmer, stirring occasionally (making sure to stir into edges of pot), until meat is very tender and sauce is thick (as sauce thickens, add water, bit by bit, if necessary, to keep sauce moist and just barely liquid), about
2 1/2  hours.

Add milk and continue cooking for 30 minutes more. Stir in pinch nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper.