Pasta Bolognese is one of those hearty, perfect for cold weather meals. In Italy, any sauce with meat is called a "ragu" but Bolognese is distinguished by being based on mirepoix instead of tomato; like ragu Napoletano. Southern Italy grows, and therefore uses, more tomatoes. Bologna, located in the North shares more with French cooking. Though, if you ask me, the French took this stuff from the Northern Italians!
In any case, this is a classic sauce for the holidays and I'm thrilled to share this recipe with you and build on it as we get closer to Christmas. The key here is a slow simmer, making this a perfect weekend project. OR you could put it in the slow cooker on low for a few hours. The sauce also freezes well so you can always make a big pot and stash some for a quick weeknight dinner!
I hope you all enjoy this recipe whether you incorporate it into your regular dinner rotation or try it as part of your Christmas Day menu. Click below to watch the step by step video!
Makes 3 c. sauce
4 oz. diced pancetta
1 lb. ground beef
1 lb. ground pork
1 onion, chopped
3 small carrots, peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
One 28oz. can crushed tomato
1 c. white wine
1 c. whole milk
1/4 c. fresh parsley, chopped
salt & pepper
Place a large, heavy sauce pan over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the pancetta and cook until the fat has rendered and the meat is crispy; about 8 minutes. Remove the pancetta from the pan, into a bowl and set aside. Leave as much fat in the pan as you can.
Add the beef and pork to the pot and cook, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Once the meat is browned, remove from pan and place in bowl with pancetta. Again, leaving behind the fat.
Add onion, carrot and celery to the pan with the fat and cook until soft and fragrant; about 8 minutes.
Add garlic and continue to cook for another minute.
Return the meat to the pan and mix well. Pour in tomato, wine and milk. Stir.
Season with salt, pepper and parsley. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low. Cover and allow to cook for 3 hours, or until desired consistency is reached. (The sauce will get thicker the longer it cooks).
Serve over long, flat pasta such as tagliatelle or papardelle.