Grape Gourmet – Cucina Dello Zio

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Pasta – Bolognese Tomato Ragu

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#Homemade #Bolognese Sauce

Pasta – Bolognese Tomato Ragu
Ragú alla Bolognese
Tomato Ground Beef Ragú
by James Belardo

Most people I know outside of the tri-state area (New York, New Jersey and Connecticut) and possibly Chicago, think of a Bolognese Meat Sauce as the de-facto standard pasta sauce. The traditional Bolognese Meat Sauce (Ragú alla Bolognese) is a ground meat-based tomato sauce that originated in Bologna, Italy. Bologna is a northern Italian city south-east of Modena and Reggio Emilia (of balsamic vinegar fame). It’s also pretty close to Parma, the birthplace of Parmesan cheese. My version uses Romano cheese, which is more predominate in southern Italy.

We try to interpret the classical or typical Bolognese Ragú style but add personal touches which all families tend to do. Traditional Bolognese sauce is much less tomato based and would use about 1 cup (8 oz) of hand crushed tomatoes rather than the 28 oz we use. It really depends on your preference. We hope you enjoy making your very own family tradition.

1/4-1/2 lb pancetta (or bacon – 4-6 pieces, cut)
1-2 lb of ground beef, veal and/or pork (a combination is good)
1 can 28 oz plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano), hand crushed (trust me)
1 or 2 cans (small) tomato paste
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped – optional
1 red pepper, chopped – optional
1/2 cup chopped fresh Cremini mushrooms – optional (small brown mushrooms – they’re actually baby Portabello) – optional
1 or 2 medium sized carrots
2-4 stalks celery
1/2 cup fresh basil (loose)
1 tablespoon sugar – optional (taste the sauce, you may not need it)
salt and pepper to taste
1/4 cup grated Romano cheese
extra virgin olive oil
1 cup red or dry white wine
1-2 cups beef stock or chicken or of each
1/4 cup butter
peperoncino fiocchi (hot pepper flakes) – optional
salt and pepper

spaghetti, pappardelle, fettuccine, rigatoni or penne.

1. In a large pot, preheat the olive oil with butter on medium, add the pancetta (or bacon) and cook until the pieces begin to turn brown.
#Homemade #Bolognese Sauce - #Pancetta 1st (w/opt. Sausage)
2. Add the onions, garlic and crushed peperoncino fiocchi (hot pepper flakes). Cook for about 2-3 minutes or so waiting until the onion begin to show signs of translucency and the garlic begins to brown.
#Homemade#Homemade Bolognes#BologneseBolognese Sauce - w/ #Pancetta browned add #onions #garlic #Peperoncino flakes
3. Add the ground beef (veal, pork or a combination).
#Homemade #Bolognese Sauce - add the meat, gnd #veal in this case
4. Once the ground beef is browned, add the red and green peppers. Cook for another 5 or 10 minutes until the peppers begin to soften.
#Homemade #Bolognese Sauce - then the red & green #peppers
5. add the carrots and celery. Cook until the celery begins to turn translucent and the carrots begin to soften.
#Homemade #Bolognese Sauce - then the #carrots & #celery
6. Once the meat, garlic, onions, peppers, carrots and celery are cooked, add some more butter, add the (optional) mushrooms. Cook until the mushrooms are about tender.
7. Add the hand-crushed plum tomatoes and the two cans of tomato paste, wait until boiling.
#Homemade #Bolognese Sauce - hand crushed #SanMarzano tomatoes & paste
8. Add the the wine, let come back to boil and add then add 1 cup of stock at a time, stirring frequently.
#Homemade #Bolognese Sauce - 3/4 cup of white #Wine pref. #PinotGrigio #Homemade #Bolognese Sauce - #beef stock #Homemade #Bolognese Sauce - don't forget the #BayLeaves #Homemade #Bolognese Sauce - some more stock, this time #chicken
9. Simmer the sauce until it begins to bubble and then add the grated cheese (it’s traditional to use Parmesan but we prefer Pecorino Romano) .
#Homemade #Bolognese Sauce - #PecorinoRomano cheese salt, pepper & sugar
10. Add the sugar, salt, pepper and grated cheese.
11. Finally add the freshly squeezed lemon juice and the fresh basil
#Homemade #Bolognese Sauce - fresh squeezed #Lemon juice #Homemade #Bolognese Sauce - in lieu of fresh #Basil we have #homegrown frozen
10. Let simmer 1/2 hour or for an hour or so. Stir frequently and  liquid stock as required.
#Homemade #Bolognese Sauce simmering


The Grape Gourmet
• health • wellness • culture • flavor •

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Written by Zio James

March 11, 2013 at 2:41 PM

2 Responses

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  1. […] The classic tomato meat sauce, Ragü alla Bolognese (along with Sunday Gravy) has become a symbol of Italian-American immigrants. And while Sunday Gravy is one of the great marks of Italian American immigrants who settled along the US eastern seaboard and the Chicago area. Bolognese Tomato sauce is the symbol for the other Italian immigrants, the ones who settled in Canada and other parts of the the US. Here’s a take that combines tradition with a little bit the Grape Kitchen’s love, Ragu alla Bolognese. […]

  2. […] great Monday night meal is to re-purpose something you made on the weekend! If you made a Bolognese Tomato Sauce, then you’ve got a great, and quick, meal ready to go… Let’s makeStuffed […]

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