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Bolognese

Background

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.

 

Ingredients

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

  • Kosher Salt

 

Recipe Creation

  • 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.

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