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!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!