Get the Recipe: Ragù alla Bolognese

Intoxicating vapors emanate throughout the kitchen as Ragù alla Bolognese merrily simmers at a lazy bubble. Thin sheets of fresh pasta dressed in yellow ribbons playfully grip velvety, meat sauce. The two shall dance and twirl upon four fork prongs before each tender bite. 

Ingredients

  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 4 teaspoons powdered gelatin
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 medium onion, very finely chopped
  • 4 stalks celery, very finely chopped
  • 4 carrots, very finely chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • 6 ounce can tomato paste
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup marinara sauce
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves
  • 2 garlic cloves, pressed (optional)

Instructions 

  • Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Place chicken stock in a bowl. Sprinkle gelatin in to dissolve. Set aside.
  • Heat olive oil and butter in a large Dutch oven over high heat until shimmering. Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic. Cook until the vegetables are translucent but not browned, 5-10 minutes. Add the meats. Increase the heat to high, and brown the meat stirring frequently for 15- 25 minutes, until the meat is browned.
  • Add tomato paste and cook, stirring constantly, until rust-colored and fragrant, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Stir in wine and scrape bottom of pan with wooden spoon to loosen any food that may have stuck to the bottom of the pan and bring to a simmer for 5 minutes. Add sprigs of fresh thyme, marinara sauce, milk and broth mixture and return to a simmer.
  • Transfer uncovered pot to oven. Cook, stirring and scraping down the sides of pot occasionally, for 2 hours. Some ovens run hotter and this may cause the sauce to dry. If so, add a splash of stock or water, if necessary to keep the sauce from drying out.
  • Remove from oven. Using a ladle, feel free to skim off all the fat that may have accumulated on the top.
  • Add the heavy cream and basil and bring to a simmer. Season with salt and pepper to taste. I like to take two garlic cloves and press them through a garlic press or grate on a rasp grater (Microplane) and add them to sauce. I find it really bumps up the flavor. This step is optional.
  • If you prefer your Bolognese a little more tomatoey, feel free to add another cup of your favorite marina sauce (I recommend Rao’s marinara sauce).
  • Serve with pappardelle or tagliatelle pasta and top with Parmesan cheese.

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