Ragù Bolognese

Ragù BologneseAs the weather in New England actually begins to feel more like winter, I tend to crave comfort foods a lot more. And what says comfort more than a bowl of rich bolognese sauce?

A lot of people confuse bolognese with a regular meat sauce. The truth is: Both are similar, however traditional meat sauce normally uses a tomato sauce for a base, while bolognese uses a base of stock, wine, tomato paste, and vegetables. This recipe comes from Bon Appetit magazine. It truly is a classic, and the final dish is beautiful. The ribbons of tender fettucini pasta are the perfect pair for the richness of the meaty sauce.

If you’re looking for something to warm your bones this winter, make this dish immediately.

Servings: 4-6

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped (about 1½ cups)
2 celery stalks, finely chopped (about 1 cup)
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped (about ¾ cup)
6 ounces lean ground beef
6 ounces ground veal
3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped
½ cup dry red wine
3 cups beef stock, divided
3 tablespoons tomato paste
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup whole milk
1 pound tagliatelle or fettuccine
Finely grated Parmesan for serving

Ragù BologneseDirections:

  1. Heat oil in a large, heavy pot over medium-high heat. Add onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté until soft, for about 8-10 minutes.
  2. Add beef, veal, and pancetta and sauté, breaking up the meat with a spoon until browned (about 15 minutes). Add wine. Boil for about one minute, stirring often and scraping up browned bits.
  3. Add 2½ cups stock and tomato paste, and stir to blend. Reduce the heat to very low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until flavors meld (about 1½ hours). Season with salt and pepper.
  4. Bring milk to a simmer in a small saucepan, and gradually add to the sauce. Cover the sauce with a lid slightly ajar, and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally until milk is absorbed (about 45 minutes), adding more stock by ¼-cupfuls to thin if needed.
  5. This bolognese can be made 2 days ahead. Chill uncovered until cold, then cover and keep chilled. Rewarm before continuing.
  6. When ready to serve, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt, add pasta, and cook, stirring occasionally until 1 minute before al dente. Drain, reserving ½ cup pasta water.
  7. Transfer ragù to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pasta and toss to coat. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water by tablespoonfuls if the sauce seems dry.
  8. Serve with Parmesan.

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