Sunday Night Dinner! – Ragu Bolognese with Homemade Tagliatelle

Music: Beautiful Beat – Nada Surf

To celebrate Peter and BJ, we had a crowd over for some hearty ragu bolognese!  Since the weather has changed again, it was a perfect chilly night feast.  I wasn’t sure if there was a difference between ragu and bolognese so I did some research.  Ragu just means meat sauce but the bolognese refers to where it originates (in Bologna, Italy) but usually includes some tomatoes.  This is a Mario Batelli recipe that my friend Cia sent me.  She has her own additions, which I’ve added here. I’ve also changed this around a bit too based on what I had in my refrigerator…we were ill prepared for a big meal this week! We served it with fresh homemade pasta. Yes, please!

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
3 tbsp. butter
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 shallot
3 leeks
4 ribs celery, finely chopped (I hate celery so I didn’t include it)
2 carrots, finely chopped
6 cloves garlic, finely chopped
sometimes I add chopped mushrooms – but I didn’t have any this time
1 pound ground veal
1 pound ground pork
4 ounces slab bacon
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
28 oz. can of chopped tomatoes
1 cup whole milk
1/4 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves
3 bay leaves
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • In a 6 to 8 quart heavy-bottomed pot, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat until hot.
  • Finely chop the onions, celery, carrots, leeks, shallots and garlic. (you can even use a food processor to get them very paste-like)
  • Cook until the vegetables are  browned, about 15 minutes. Scrape up the bottom every few minutes and reincorporate.

  • Remove the veggie mix and place in a side bowl.  Leave the oils in the pan.
  • Cut bacon into strips and cook in oils until brown.
  • Add the veal and pork increase heat to high, and brown the meat, stirring frequently.

  • Add veggies back to meats and cook together for 5 minutes.

  • In the mean time, heat the milk with the nutmeg. When heated, add milk to meats.
  • Add wine and incorporate.
  • Add the tomato paste and chopped tomatoes.

  • Add thyme and bay and bring just to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 4 plus hours.
  • Season the ragu with salt and pepper and serve!

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Filed under Pasta, Recipes, Sauces, Sunday Dinner

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