Ragu Bolognese is a specialty ragu from the Emilia-Romagna region of Italy. Ragù is an Italian term for a meat-based sauce, which is traditionally served with pasta. Ingredients often vary from family to family, so it is difficult to claim an authentic recipe. One thing that is always agreed upon is that a long, slow simmer is essential. While it is not a difficult task to make Ragu Bolognese, set aside several hours, bearing in mind that most of this time will only require being nearby to give an occasional stir. Double the amount of ingredients and put the extra sauce in the freezer. For your effort you get a rich, flavorful sauce for when you get a craving for it - which I promise, you will.
This version may be a little different from the Bolognese sauce that you are used to. The combination of meat creates a depth of flavor to the sauce. You may not be a fan of chicken livers but give them a chance in this dish. The liver taste melts and disappears into the whole, adding a complexity to the sauce. If you are doubtful, just try with a little piece and you'll see.
2 ounces butter 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 1 carrot, finely chopped 4 ounces pancetta, finely chopped 8 ounces ground beef 8 ounces ground pork 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano Salt and pepper Pinch of nutmeg 4 ounces chicken livers, trimmed and chopped 1/2 cup white wine 3/4 cup whole milk, divided 14 ounces diced tomatoes 2 cups beef broth, divided 1 pound tagliatelle * Grated Parmesan cheese
Melt butter in a saucepan. Add onion, celery, carrot, and pancetta. Cook over medium heat for 6 to 8 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the minced beef, pork, and oregano. Season with salt and pepper and add nutmeg. Cook until the meat is no longer pink but do not brown it. Add the chicken liver and again cook until no longer raw.
Add the wine, bring to a boil. Cook until the wine is absorbed. Stir in 1/2 cup of milk, reduce the heat and simmer 10 minutes. Add tomatoes and half the beef broth. Partially cover the saucepan, and simmer over very low heat for 3 hours. Add more of the stock as needed to keep the sauce moist.
Cook the tagliatelle until al dente. Stir the remaining milk into the sauce 5 minutes before serving. Season with salt and pepper, if necessary. Toss the tagliatelle with the sauce and serve with Parmesan cheese.
* Tagliatelle is the type of pasta traditionally served with Bolognese ragu, but you can substitute any large ribbon pasta such as fettuccine or pappardelle.