Thursday, October 2, 2014

Traditional Italian Bolognese Sauce - Ragu' alla Bolognese

Try this hearty and traditional Italian bolognese sauce over your favorite pasta. 
You will love its deep and rich flavor!

This is a must-know recipe for any Italian cook. The ragu' alla bolognese is a meat based sauce originating from the Italian town of Bologna. It's very versatile: used in lasagna, over gnocchi or over pasta (pappardelle, linguine, spaghetti or any of your favorite!).
It starts with sauteing some vegetables (carrots, onions and celery), adding ground meat and slowly cooking with crushed tomatoes and white wine for about an hour. I like to use both ground beef and ground pork, which I find gives the sauce its deep and rich flavor. If you prefer, you could also only use ground beef and add a bit of pancetta or bacon for added aroma.
When I make bolognese sauce, I generally make a lot of it! Enough for a large lasagna and a couple of pasta dinners. It's probably the only sauce that I store in the freezer. It's easy: place enough for a family dinner in a freezer bag, remove as much air as you can, and seal tightly. It's very quick to defrost and the flavor keeps very well. Enjoy!

Ingredients: to make about 3 quartz (12 cups) of sauce
  • 1 medium onion
  • 1 carrot (I used 12 baby carrots)
  • 1 large celery stalk
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 lb of ground beef
  • 1 lb of ground pork
  • 2 cans of 28 oz (total 56 oz) crushed tomatoes (I used San Marzano)
  • 1.5 cups of white wine
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 2 whole cloves (optional)
  • salt
Preparation time: 15 minutes to prepare, at least 1 hour to cook

Step 1: Chop the onion, carrots and celery in small pieces. Saute' the vegetables in a large sauce pan, over medium heat with two tablespoons of olive oil, for about 5 minutes.
Step 2: Mix in the ground pork and beef. Stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, cook over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes, or until all the meat is brown.
Step 3: Add the crushed tomatoes, white wine, rosemary sprig and whole cloves (if you use them). Salt to taste. Cover the pan, and simmer the sauce for about 50-60 minutes over medium heat. Check and stir once in a while.
Step 4: If the sauce is too watery, uncover the pan and cook uncovered for the last 5-10 minutes. Remove (if you can or if you like) the rosemary and whole cloves. 
Cook your pasta following the direction on the package. Mix the pasta with some bolognese sauce and sprinkle with freshly grated Parmesan cheese. 
Buon Appetito!!


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  2. Hi i dont have white wine, what can i substitute it with?