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Old 12-14-2005, 08:36 AM   #1
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Bolognese sauce for pasta

I posted this on one of the other sections and thought it should probably be re-posted here!

1 lb of lean beef mince
1 lb of pork mince
6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium onions, finely chopped
4 large garlic cloves,
5oz pancetta or streaky bacon, finely chopped
2 x 400 g tins Italian chopped tomatoes
2 x 200 g tubes double concentrate tomato purée
1 x 37.5 cl half bottle red wine (or 400 ml/14 fl oz)
1 oz fresh bazil
Half a whole nutmeg, grated* (I don't use this - although it was on the original ingredients list)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste.

Pre-heat the oven to gas mark 1, 275°F (140°C).


Use the largest frying pan you own and heat 3 tablespoons of the oil and gently fry the onion and garlic over a medium heat for about 10 minutes, moving it around from time to time.
While the onion is softening, chop the pancetta. (I was taught to put it all together, roll it into a sausage and slice, very thinly across the round!)
Add to the pan with the onions and garlic and continue cooking them all for another 5 minutes or so. Transfer this mixture to a heavy duty casserole.
Add another tbsp of oil to the pan, turn the heat up to its highest then add the minced beef and brown it, breaking it up and moving it round in the pan. When the beef is browned tip it into the casserole. Heat another tbsp of oil and do exactly the same with the minced pork. When the pork is browned, transfer it to the casserole,

Place the casserole over the direct heat, give everything a good stir together, then add the contents of the tins of tomatoes, the tomato purée, red wine and a really good seasoning of salt, pepper and nutmeg (if you choose to use it, I find it adds quite an 'insistent' note to the recipe!)
Allow this to come up to simmering point. Then strip the leaves from half the basil, chop them very finely and add them to the pot. As soon as everything is simmering, place the casserole on the centre shelf of the oven and leave it to cook slowly, without a lid, for 4 hours. It's a good idea to have a look after 3 hours to make sure all is well, but what you should end up with is a thick, concentrated sauce with only a trace of liquid left in it, then remove it from the oven, taste to check the seasoning, strip the leaves off the remaining basil, chop them small and stir them in.

Prepare some spaghetti or tagliatelle and serve a small amount of the sauce on the pasta portions, and add some freshly grated Parmiagano Reggiano.

This makes a much more intensively flavoured ragu, so a little sauce goes a long way - and in Italy the proportion of sauce to pasta is much less than we eat in the UK - I'm only mentioning this because it is so different from the way I USED to serve pasta... of course, maybe the US uses the proper proportion of sauce to pasta!

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Old 12-14-2005, 05:01 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ishbel
I maybe the US uses the proper proportion of sauce to pasta!
Oh no, Ishbel. Most of us are used to drowing our pasta in the sauce (OK, buckytom - not you).

Your recipe looks very nice.
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Old 12-14-2005, 05:26 PM   #3
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You are correct, Ishbel, I noticed also the Italian folks wouldn't DRENCH the pasta like vast majority of foreigners do...
I am still having a difficulty adjusting into this habit, I like loads of sauce on my pasta so much... Cris doesn't complain and eat my serving pretty happily, but when he does make his pasta dish, it is less than half the amount of sauce than my version!!
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Old 12-14-2005, 05:46 PM   #4
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Thats so odd that you posted this today because that is what I'm making for dinner tonight.
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Old 12-14-2005, 06:00 PM   #5
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Old 12-14-2005, 06:02 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by urmaniac13
You are correct, Ishbel, I noticed also the Italian folks wouldn't DRENCH the pasta like vast majority of foreigners do...
I am still having a difficulty adjusting into this habit, I like loads of sauce on my pasta so much... Cris doesn't complain and eat my serving pretty happily, but when he does make his pasta dish, it is less than half the amount of sauce than my version!!
Urmaniac
I've become much less generous when adding sauces to any Italian pasta dish. I have grown used to the Italian method of little sauce, molto pasta..! Even for carbonara or a fish sauce, I choose to add little to the pasta.
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Old 12-15-2005, 07:25 PM   #7
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It's interesting this sauce in the states calls for a "basic" {term used loosly} red sauce with cream added. For mine I would start with a meatloaf mix {pork-veal-beef} and go from there. Plus I would use a zinfandel or white wine as opposed to red. I have to admit tho that I do tend to slather my pasta with alot of sauce, but to each their own ;} .
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Old 12-16-2005, 06:27 AM   #8
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I've never heard of adding cream to a bolognese sauce before. Another interesting regional 'take' on an ethnic dish, I suspect.
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Old 12-16-2005, 11:45 AM   #9
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Cream is actually one of the definitive ingredients in a Bolognese sauce.

From the Food Lover's companion (dictionary):

"Named after the rich cookery style of Bologna, Italy, Bolognese refers to dishes served with a thick, full-bodied meat and vegetable sauce enhanced with wine and milk or cream. The term alla Bolognese (in French, à la Bolognese ) on a menu designates a pasta or other dish sauced in this manner. The Italian term for this sauce is ragu Bolognese , or often simply ragu ."


And zinfandel is a red wine
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Old 12-16-2005, 05:07 PM   #10
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I stand corrected, Jennyema! All I can tell you is that there was no cream in the method I learned in Italy (granted, it was in Liguria not Bologna) - and I have never encountered cream in any British 'version' of Bolognese. The recipe I gave also had some chopped chicken livers in it - but I never add them as I feel it gives an almost game-y taste to the finished sauce.
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