Written by Larry Aiello
Monday, 05 September 2011 16:37
There are a lot of variations of this Italian recipe
It is widely agreed upon that the best region for cuisine in Italy is Emilia-Romagna. And one of the signature dishes is Pasta alla Bolognese, which is a meat and tomato-based pasta sauce - ragù alla bolognese in Italian.
In the northern regions of Italy, there tends to be less emphasis on tomatoes in their recipes. In the southern regions, you'll find more emphasis and variations with tomatoes.
For the meats you’ll need
1/2 lb. ground beef
1/2 lb. ground veal or lamb
2 – 4 ounces of pancetta or bacon, minced
Using a combination will help bring out extra flavors. Or you can use any combo you like (1/2 pound ground beef with 1/2 pound lamb, or 1lb ground beef, etc)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
1/2 cup of whole milk
1 large onion, chopped
1/4 cup dry white wine or some variations use red wine
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 celery, chopped
4 - 6 cloves of garlic
1 16 oz. can whole tomatoes with/ juice
salt & pepper to taste
and a pinch of sugar or a pinch of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon of dried basil
1 pound penne pasta – or farfalle or tagliatelle works well
Spaghetti will not work too well for this dish, as the meat will fall off the pasta.
Recommended: Parmesan cheese for grating on top
- In a 3 quart saucepan heat oil and butter.
- Add pancetta and cook for 6 to 8 minutes, or until browned or most of the fat has been rendered.
- Then add garlic, carrots, celery, and onions and saute for 3 minutes.
- Now add the meats, salt and pepper to taste and cook until the beef is no longer pink. Add in the sugar, oregano and basil, and season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Add the milk and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, until the milk is completely evaporated and then add wine and simmer until evaporated.
- Finally, add the tomatoes and simmer slowly, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours partially covered. When making a bolognese sauce, the idea is to reduce as slowly as possible.
- If sauce becomes dry, add a little water whenever necessary.
- Right before the sauce is completed, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta until it is tender but still firm to the bite, or “al dente”. Should be about 10 minutes.
- Drain, pat dry and return to the pot. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss to combine.
- Serve immediately. You can top with freshly grated parmesan cheese if desired.