ragù alla bolognese

This is your basic meat sauce for spaghetti if you live in North America.  Its name is related to the French ragoût but it's a very different dish.

  • 1 small tin of tomato paste (with as few additives as possible) for a thinner sauce use either a can of roma tomatoes or fresh diced roma tomatoes if the season is right.
  • 1 lb ground meat (either beef or a combination of beef/pork/pancetta)
  • 1/4 c dry white wine
  • 1/2 c cream (or milk if that's what you've got)
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1-2 tbsp butter
  • Grated parmigiano reggiano to taste
  • sea salt and pepper
  1. Prepare the battuto by cutting the listed vegetables in a fine dice.  sneff provides excellent instructions here if you need some guidance.
  2. To a sauce pan on medium high heat add the butter (cut into small pieces) and the garlic
  3. Stir the garlic around until the butter is melted and the garlic is just beginning to colour lightly
  4. Discard the garlic and add to the pan your battuto(magically transformed to a soffritto).  Mix the soffritto well making sure to coat all of the vegetable pieces with the butter
  5. Allow the vegetables to cook down until they begin to colour lightly, stir occasionally to prevent burning
  6. Thoroughly mix in the ground meat and allow the mixture to cook down a bit as above.  Season with salt and pepper, cook with your nose.  You'll know there's enough salt and pepper when it starts smelling tasty.
  7. If you are using tomato paste mix the tomato paste with the white wine and stir it into the pot. Otherwise add the tomatoes and wine mixing well.
  8. Cook away the alcohol (it'll stop smelling strongly of wine) and stir in the milk
  9. Turn the heat down to low and simmer. At least an hour or so.  Longer wouldn't hurt if you can spare the time.
  10. Stir in grated parmesan cheese and taste for seasoning
To serve toss with your favourite pasta (tagliatelle or farfalle for example), and top with more shredded cheese.  This will serve between 6-8 people.

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