Pasta bolognese – or simply just ragù, like it is known in Italy – is a complex sauce which involves a variety of cooking techniques. There is plenty of room for creative interpretation, and it seems that every cook has their very own version. Common sources of differences include which meats to use (beef, pork or veal) and what form of tomato – and how much – is employed (fresh, canned or paste). Cooking liquids can also differ from broth to tomato juices, or from wine to milk. The simmering time of the sauce can also vary from one hour to five. The earliest documented ragù recipe hails from the Bologna region, and the first printed version appeared in 1891. Traditionally the Bolognese sauce is served with broad and flat pasta shapes, like tagliatelle or pappardelle, and sometimes with penne or rigatoni.
2 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
2 celery sticks, finely chopped
500 gr/ 1 lb minced beef and pork
2 Italian sausages, casing removed
salt and pepper to taste
a pinch of chili powder
a pinch of nutmeg, freshly grated
250 ml/ 1 cup red wine
750 ml/ 3 1/3 cups (biological) passata di pomodoro
tagliatelle, pappardelle, or pasta of your choice
freshly ground Parmesan cheese
Saute the finely chopped onions, carrots, and celery together with the minced garlic in a pan for about 10 minutes. Add the minced meat and the sausages and continue frying. Season with salt and pepper, and chili powder and freshly ground nutmeg and pour the red wine. Let the wine evaporate before adding the passata di pomodoro. Reduce the heat and let the sauce simmer on a very low heat for about 3 hours. Don’t forget to stir the sauce every 5 minutes, or when needed. Serve with tagliatelle or pappardelle, or some other pasta of your choice. Sprinkle freshly ground Parmesan cheese on top.