Classic Bolognese

Bologna's ragu is the most famous in Italy. According to the Bologna chapter of Italy's gastronomic society, L'Accademia Italiana della[ Cucina, this is the most typical and authentic-tasting rendition of the city's famed sauce.]

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Easy
Ingredients
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 10 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 cup small diced carrots
  • 3/4 cup small diced celery
  • 1 cup small diced onions
  • 3/4 pound ground chuck
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Italian tomato paste, diluted in 10 tablespoons meat stock
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Salt and black pepper
Directions

The building of a ragu involves three simple steps: browning the vegetables and meats, reducing flavorful liquids over the browned foods to build up layers of taste, then covering them with liquid and simmering gently until the flavors have blended and the meats are tender. Ragu`s should be rich without being heavy. A ragu is a meat sauce with tomato, it is not a tomato sauce with meat.

Adapted from Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

In a small sauce pot, bring the cream up to a simmer and reduce by 1/3. About 6 tablespoons of cream should be remaining. In a sauce pot, render the pancetta over medium heat, about 8 minutes, or until almost all the fat is rendered. Stir in the carrots, celery, and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Saute the vegetables for about 3 minutes or until the vegetables are translucent. In a mixing bowl, combine the meats. Season the meats with salt and pepper. Increase the heat and stir in the meat. Brown the meat for 5 minutes, or until the meat is medium brown in color. Stir in the wine, garlic and diluted tomato paste, and reduce the heat to very low. Cook partially covered for 2 hours. From time to time stir in a tablespoon or so of the milk, by the end of the two hours the milk should be incorporated. Stir in the reduced cream. Season with salt and black pepper


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