Buongiorno, and welcome to the world of Bolognese sauce!
Bolognese sauce, also known as ragù alla bolognese, is a meat-based sauce originating from the city of Bologna in the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. It is typically made with a combination of ground beef, pork, and pancetta and is slowly simmered with tomatoes, onions, celery, and carrots.
However, like many traditional dishes, the recipe for Bolognese sauce varies depending on the region of Italy. In the north, the sauce is often made with a more significant proportion of meat and less tomato, while in the south, it is made with more tomato and less meat.
The key to a delicious Bolognese sauce is to use high-quality ingredients and to take the time to let the sauce simmer slowly, allowing the flavors to develop and meld together.
Here is a traditional recipe for Bolognese sauce:
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/4 pound pancetta, diced
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 1 can of crushed tomatoes
- 2 cups of beef or chicken broth
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Fresh parsley and grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese for garnish
- Heat some olive oil over medium heat in a large pot or Dutch oven. Add the pancetta and cook until it starts to brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and pork and cook until browned, about 8 minutes. Remove the meat from the pot and set it aside.
- Add the onion, carrots, and celery to the same pot, and cook until they are softened, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for an additional minute.
- Return the meat to the pot and add the white wine. Cook until the wine has reduced by half.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and broth, and bring the mixture to a simmer—season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. The longer you simmer the sauce, the more flavorful it will become.
- After 2 hours, the sauce should be thick, and the meat should be very tender. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed.
- Serve the sauce over pasta and garnish with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.
The aroma of a well-made Bolognese is a mouthwatering combination of the sweetness of the tomato, the savoriness of the meat, and the spices’ warmth. The flavors are rich and complex, with the acidity of the tomatoes balancing out the meat’s richness.
When pairing wine with Bolognese, a dry red wine such as a Chianti or a Barolo would perfectly complement the bold flavors of the sauce. A dry white wine such as a Pinot Grigio or Soave would also be a good choice for those who prefer a white wine pairing.
Bolognese sauce is typically served with pasta, most commonly with wide, flat noodles such as pappardelle or fettuccine. But it can also be used as a base for lasagna, a filling for cannelloni, or a topping for pizza.
I hope you enjoy making and savoring this delicious Bolognese sauce traditionally! Remember, the key is to use high-quality ingredients and to take the time to let the sauce simmer slowly. As Julia Child once said, “The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.” So don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and techniques to make the perfect Bolognese sauce that suits your taste. Buon appetito!