Very first post! My family’s Traditional, Ragu alla Bolognese!
Dear readers, you have no idea how excited I am to share my love of cooking with you. If you have read my About page, you know by now that my goal in life is to travel to culinary schools around the globe and to bring authentic flavors to your table. Why?, because it’s my passion and also because I have very good recipes that need to get out into the world.
I chose this traditional Ragu alla Bolognese because it was a staple on our table at the Sunday brunch. My mother used to prepare it the day before and serve it to us right after church. However, I learned how to make this sauce the proper way while in Italy and I was very surprised to find out that each region there makes this ragu sauce in a certain way. Some add just onions to it and omit the garlic altogether while others add both.
One of the reasons that I love to prepare this traditional Ragu alla Bolognese sauce so much it’s because it freezes very well so I usually double the batch and get at least 3 meals out of it. Now keep in mind that this dish requires patience as the sauce tastes better the longer it simmers.
I recommend making this sauce on a leisure day like Sunday and please start early, as the longer it simmers the better it will taste, or make it the day before and let it sit in the fridge over night. It will taste even better the next day for your Sunday supper.
Anyway, without further delay, here is my recipe. I hope you enjoy preparing this wonderful Ragu alla Bolognese sauce for your family and friends!
Traditional Ragu Bolognese
- 6 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large sweet yellow onion or 2 medium ones finely chopped
- 2 peeled large carrots finely chopped
- 2 celery sticks with leaves finely chopped
- 1 tablespoon of fresh parsley chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 OZ or 100 gr. of Italian pancetta finely chopped
- 1 1/2 Ib or 680 gr. of ground beef
- 3 large Italian hot sausages or sweet casings removed
- 1 cup drinking red wine
- 1 can of 28 OZ or 794 grams of whole tomatoes juice included
- 3 TBSP of tomato paste
- 2 cups of flavored beef broth
- half glass of whole milk
- 1 TSP of salt
- 2 TSP of sugar
- Pinch nutmeg or cinnamon
- 1/2 TSP of black pepper
- 1/4 TSP of red pepper flakes optional
- Pour 3 TBSP of olive oil into a 3-quart dutch oven or a stew pot with a lid.
- Bring the fire to a medium-low heat.
- Add the onion, carrots, celery, and saute until they begin to turn tender about 5 minutes.
- Add parsley, and bay leave and saute for one minute.
- Remove the saute vegetables into a bowl and set aside.
- Return to the pot and add the remaining 3 TBSP of olive oil.
- Add the pancetta. Saute until pancetta begins to turn gold in color about one minute
- Add the ground beef and the sausage and break them apart.
- Continue to cook until the meat is no longer pink.
- Add the sauted vegetables back to the pan and mixed everything together.
- Add the red wine and boil it for 2 minutes.
- Add the whole tomatoes with the juice and break them apart.
- Add the tomato paste and continue to cook for another minute.
- Add the beef stock and bring it to a boil.
- Reduce heat and gently simmer, stirring occasionally with the pot partially closed for 2 1/2 hours. If the sauce gets too dense add a little extra wine or beef stock to it.
- After 2 1/2 hours, bring the milk to a simmer in a small saucepan and gradually add to the sauce. Partially cover the pot again and simmer for another 30 minutes. Add the salt, sugar, nutmeg, pepper, and pepper flakes. Taste the sauce and add more salt if needed.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta in a pot of boiling salted water until 1 minute before al dente. Drain it reserving some of the cooking liquid. Return the pasta back to the pot. Add some sauce to it and toss it. If pasta seems dry, add some of the reserved cooking liquid to it.
- Transfer pasta to a serving dish or individual pasta bowls and pour some of the sauce on top.
- Serve with parmesan cheese.