Our housemade bolognese, just add to freshly cooked pasta and serve with parmesan.
What is bolognese sauce?
Hailing from the Italian town of Bologna, bolognese sauce is a meat ragu sauce that traditionally accompanies pasta. Sitting down in a restaurant in Emilia Romagna, you won't easily find spaghetti bolognese on the menu at a restaurant as it is simply called ‘ragù’ there. Italians believe that traditional "ragù" bolognese should only be served with tagliatelle, tortellini or gnocchi to hold the sauce properly. It is a famous pasta sauce that dates back to the 18th century when it was cooked by the Cardinal of Imola, near Bologna. Only in 1891 was it made famous by renowned author Pellegrino Artusi who published a recipe for the ragù known as bolognese in his cookbook. It is now loved world over, being a family favourite for many. Fresh pasta topped with a bolognese sauce is a wonderfully comforting dish, fit to please everyone from young to old.
There are countless recipes for this famous Italian meat sauce. Variations change from town to town in Italy and across the world, from family to family. There are many recommendations that can be made for how to start or finish a bolognese ragu, but, as is the key with all Italian dishes, in buying good quality produce to really make it sing.
This is how we make our bolognese. A classic ragu sauce calls for a mix of beef mince, pork mince and a few slices of sliced pancetta for extra fat. Begin by frying off the meat in small batches, making sure it becomes golden brown and crispy before moving into a bowl off the heat. Once all the meat is browned, sautee a soffritto of diced onion, celery and carrot in the same pan over a low heat for 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are soft. Return the meat to the pan, add a cup full of full bodied red wine and turn up the heat so the alcohol cooks off. Next, add a little milk for richness and allow it to evaporate into the meat. You can then add tins of chopped tomatoes, a pinch of sugar to balance the acidity and some bay leaves. Season to taste and cook over a very low heat for 2-3 hours. Enjoy bolognese sauce with al dente pasta and parmigiano reggiano cheese on top.