Thursday, June 16, 2011

Ragu Bolognese


Ragu Bolognese

Ingredients

4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 carrot, finely diced or grated
1 medium onion, finely diced or grated
1 rib celery, minced
1 clove garlic, crushed or grated
1 1/4 pounds ground beef
1 pound ground pork shoulder (grind your own!)
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 cup milk
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon Kosher salt (or more, to taste)
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, for serving
Crushed red pepper, for serving

Method

In a 6 to 8-quart, heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions, carrot, celery, and garlic and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned, 10 to 15 minutes. Turn the heat to high and add the beef and pork. Cook until browned, stirring frequently, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon as it cooks.

Remove pot from heat and pour meat and vegetables into a colander to drain excess fat. Return mixture to pot and set heat on medium low.

Add the tomato paste and stir until just combined. Stir in milk, wine and salt. Simmer over medium low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from heat.


When ready to use, add 1 pound fresh tagliatelle to the ragu and toss until the noodles are just coated with the sauce.

Serve with fresh grated Parmigiano-Reggiano and crushed red pepper flakes, if desired.


NOTES

Absolutely delicious and one of Steve's all-time favorites. Easy, too!

Traditionally, ragu Bolognese is made with veal, pork and pancetta; mine is modified for the sake of cost and convenience. I also use more tomato paste than most and, though I rarely condone the use of a food processor for vegetable preparation, I have been known to toss all my vegetables in there so as to make a soffrito "paste" that ends up kind of melting into the sauce after the long simmer.

One last thing: don't omit the cheese at the table. It's essential. No dish I make is more perfectly complemented by it than this one. It's all I can do not to throw handfuls of it in my bowl.