Bolognese has its origin in the beautiful city of Bologna located in the heart of the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. This area is famous for its elegant cities, Adriatic beaches, and its legendary cuisines. In Italy, this meat-based sauce is known as ragù alla bolognese. As any Italian chef would tell you, there should be no garlic in a ragù like bolognese. The make up of a true ragù bolognese is powered by salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Another fundamental element of a bolognese is the soffritto which is an Italian Mediterranean method of preparing vegetables to create a deep flavor in the dish. Bolognese is best served with a thick pasta like tagliatelle or pappardelle to act as a vehicle for the sauce to cling to. This recipe builds a rich flavored sauce that when paired with a thick pasta, creates an authentic mouth-watering Italian comfort food.
Serving size: 5
1 Onion, chopped
1 Celery stalk, chopped
1 Carrot, peeled, chopped
4 tbsp. Extra virgin olive oil
1 lb Ground chuck beef
2 oz Pancetta, chopped
2 Bay leaves
1 cup White wine
2 cups Beef stock
1 cup Whole milk
⅔ cup Parmesan, grated
½ cup Tomato paste
Pinch ground nutmeg
Create soffritto by adding celery, carrot, and onion in a food processor, and pulse until minced.
Heat up oil in a large pot over medium. Add beef to the pot in clumps and season lightly with salt. Allow beef to brown for about 4 minutes each side. Transfer beef to a bowl, and wipe excess grease from the pan.
Over medium high heat, add pancetta and cook for around 5 minutes or until crisp. Add in soffritto and cook for another 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat to medium and add in cooked beef and wine. Start breaking down clumps of beef with a spoon and allow the alcohol to dissipate. After about 15 minutes, add bay leaf, tomato paste, and nutmeg. Add salt to taste.
Pour in beef stock and milk to the pot. Give the pot a good stir and lower heat to a simmer. Cook for 2 ½ hours, stirring occasionally. Salt to taste and take out the bay leaves.
Cook pasta in salt water. Take out pasta about 2 minutes prior to al dente, without discarding pasta water. Transfer pasta to the pot with the bolognese. Add a in ⅓ of Parmesan and about 1 cup of pasta water. Start tossing the pasta bolognese until the sauce has an even and thick coating over the pasta, adjust heat as needed.
Transfer to a plate and serve with grated Parmesan.