Ragù alla Bolognese

The first time I had Bolognese sauce it was at Via Matta. I knew they had a reputation for the best Bolognese in the city so I decided to try it. It was good, but not worth the price tag or the reputation. I still prefer a basic tomato sauce (my grandfather Pasquale’s recipe), but this Ragù is excellent.

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Fresh thyme is essential.

My Ragú alla Bolognese sauce is cooked low and slow. Plan to make it a day ahead so the flavors marry and come to their full savory potential the next day. If you can’t wait that long, double the recipe and get a fresh loaf of Italian bread and start dipping right after you make it.

Ragú alla Bolognese 

Makes a large pot, enough for 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 4T EVOO
  • 1# pasture raised ground beef
  • 1# pasture raised ground pork
  • 2 Italian sausages (1 hot, 1 sweet, casings removed)
  • 1½C red wine (good enough to drink)
  • 2 – 26oz. boxes of Pomi brand strained tomatoes
  • 3T tomato paste
  • 1T fresh thyme leaves
  • 2t sea salt
  • 1t freshly, ground pepper
  • one batch of soffritto (EVOO, 4 small onions, 4 small fresh carrots or 2 large, 6 garlic cloves, 1 stalk of celery)

Directions: Pour the EVOO in a heavy stock pot and heat on medium-high until fragrant. Add the beef and pork to the pan and brown it, breaking up the meat with a wooden utensil as it cooks. Browned meat imparts a richer flavor so let it brown nicely. Once the meat browns, add the red wine and deglaze the pan. Turn the heat to low and allow the wine to cook into the meat for about 5-10 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, thyme, salt, and pepper. Stir well to combine. Add the soffritto and stir completely. Bring to a low boil, then reduce to simmer. If you find it too thick, you can add water. If you find it too thin, add a bit of tomato paste.

Let it simmer with the cover off as long as you can, preferably for a few hours. Stir every once in a while to prevent hot spots.

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