Il ragù bolognese, one the most famous meat sauces of italian cuisine. Prepared with soffritto, meat and a rich tomato sauce. Depending on regions and food culture of Italy bolognese sauce has its own variants. In some regions they add whole pieces of meat or Italian sausage too, and in some other regions they use pieces of duck or goose to give it a richer gamey flavor.
I personaly loved Jonathan's grandma style (she is from Umbria). Hers is so rich and tasty. She makes soffritto with whole onion, celery and carrot without chopping them. For the meat she uses; half pork and half beef minced, a whole pieces of beaf, Umbrian sausage, goose (with bones) and small pieces of prosciutto crudo! She cooked all with tomato sauce for more that 2-3 hours and always end up with a rich and lovely flavor sauce, she then remove the whole chunks of meat, sausage and veggies, serve them separately and then uses the minced meat sauce for Tagliatelle or Lasagne. She always cook this ragù every time we go visiting them in Umbria, she know we love it.
My recipe is a mix between hers and mine. I love the texture of veggies in sauce so I'll blend them, this way they desepierd in sauce and leave a lovely texture and flavor. I also used slices of prosciutto crudo instead of chunks for a lighter sauce. The other ingredients in general are from Umbria or they are a little bit heavy for everyday usage, but If you have the ingredients and time, give it a try and go with grandma recipe! You gonna fall in love with its flavor. And of course is the best for christmas time. A very rich gamy homemade italian lasagne or tagliatelle! Can't be better, enjoy!
Serves 4-6 People
- 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 big red onion
- 2 sticks of celery
- 1 carrot
- 1 small hot red chili
- 50 g Italian sausage
- 1-2 small slice or 1 piece of prosciutto crudo
- 600 g mix of minced pork & beef
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 glass of good red wine
- 3 spoonful of tomato paste
- 2 x 400 g tomato pulp
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 500 ml chicken stock or water
- Wash the veggies, peel and cut the onion and the carrot, cut the celery and the chili, all in big chunks and put them in a food processor to make a fine soffritto for the bolognese sauce. This gives a sauce a very good taste and flavor. This gives the sauce a very good taste and flavor.
Place a pan on medium heat and add the olive oil, when is hot add the veggies and fry them until translucent and soft.
Make a well in the middle, remove the skin of the sausage and add the sausage and the pieces of prosciutto crudo, break them and fry them in the middle of the veggies. Then start adding the minced beef/pork slowly. More space for meat in the pan helps it to cook and to get a nice color. Mix the meat with the veggies.
When the meat is colored add some black pepper and a glass of red wine, rise the heat up and let the alcohol evaporate to bring out the good smell and flavor of all the ingredients.
Then add the tomato paste, the tomato pulp and salt; mix well and cook uncovered for about 10 minutes. Add the chicken stock or water and bring to boil.
When it starts to boil reduce the heat to low, cover and cook for about 2 hours. After 1 hour and a half, taste the sauce and add seasoning if needed. Cook for another 30 minutes.
When ready let the sauce rest for 20 minutes for lasagne and 5-10 minutes for pasta before using it.