Ragù alla Bolognese Emilia-Romagna
Preparation - Medium
Prep: 30 min Cook: 3-5 hrs
Total time: 3 hour 30 min
Yield: Serves 8 - 12 (We make this batch and freeze most of it in portions)
Spaghetti Bolognese - Bolognese sauce usually features at least two different kinds of meat, the meat is usually minced, not ground, and milk or cream in some measure is added at some point. This is our adaption of the Bolognese recipe (wine, no milk). For a quick meat sauce with ground beef, see simple Bolognese or try the more classic Bolognese Sauce with milk and nutmeg.
3 TBS olive oil
3 TBS butter
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 stalks celery finely chopped
1 carrots finely chopped (size of a wooden match head)
2 bay leaves
1 tsp dry oregano (more to taste) or 1 tsp fresh
1/4 cup red wine (optional)
1 - 14 oz and 1 - 28 oz can tomatoes (36 oz all together)
8 oz tomato sauce - Hunts or similar
1 lb good quality beef, minced
1 lb ground pork or Italian style pork sausage broken up in small pieces
1/2 tsp salt or to taste
chili pepper or pepperoncino, small piece (more to taste)
Pasta pot, heavy casserole or pot for long, slow simmer, slotted spoon.
IN the heaviest, deepest pot you have, heat the oil/butter. Add the chopped onion and saute briefly over medium heat until just translucent. Add celery, carrot and hot pepper. Sauté over medium heat until soft, stirring occasionaly about 8 minutes. Remove celery mixture to separate dish with a slotted spoon.
ADD the minced beef and the pork sausage to cooking pot, breaking it up with a fork. Add salt to taste, stir, and cook until the meat has lost its raw, red color.
RETURN celery, etc. to cooking pot with meat, add the wine, turn the heat up to medium high, and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the wine is evaporated.
ADD the tomatoes, tomato sauce, the oregano and the bay leaves and stir thoroughly. When the mixture has started to bubble, turn the heat down until the sauce cooks at the gentlest simmer, just an occasional bubble. Cook, uncovered, for a minimum of 3 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally adding more hot water as necessary. Taste and check for salt. (If you cannot keep an eye on the sauce for such a long stretch, you can turn off the heat and resume cooking it later on. But do finish cooking it in one day.)
YOU can refrigerate for up to 3 days. Freezes well. You can make extra portions for later.