2T olive oil
5 oz. pancetta (uncured bacon)
1 medium onion, finely diced
½ cup carrot, finely diced
½ cup celery, finely diced
1-pound ground beef
½ cup red wine
2T double-concentrated tomato paste dissolved in 1-cup warm water
1-cup whole milk
Salt & pepper
1-pound fresh pasta (tagliatelle, fettuccine, pappardelle, or penne)
½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, and some extra cheese for table
1. In a food processor, or by hand, finely chop the pancetta until it resembles ground pork.
2. In a medium saucepot or Dutch oven over medium heat, add the olive oil. When warm add the pancetta, cook about 4 minutes until some of the fat starts to render out.
3. Add the onion, carrots, and celery and cook until vegetables are soft, about 4-6 minutes.
4. Increase the heat to medium-high and add the ground beef. Using a spoon, break the meat up into small pieces. Continue stirring and continue breaking the meat into very small pieces until the meat has cooked evenly.
5. Stir in the red wine and cook about 2 minutes. Add the diluted tomato paste and reduce the heat to a simmer.
6. Every few minutes, give the sauce a stir and add a tablespoon of the milk until it is all gone. Cook the sauce for 1½ to 2 hours until most of the liquid has evaporated. If the sauce should become too dry during the cooking time, carefully add 1-2 tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper. Set the sauce aside until ready to use. Reheat if necessary.
7. When ready to serve, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the pasta and cook the pasta for 2-4 minutes.
8. Drain the pasta. Place in a large bowl or platter and reserve ½ cup of the pasta cooking liquid.
9. Toss the pasta with the sauce. If it seems a little dry, add a little of the pasta cooking liquid. Add the cheese and toss again.
10. Serve with more cheese on the side.
TIPS & TRICKS
• There are so many recipes for ragu Bolognese. I adapted this version from the Accademia Italiana Della Cucina recipe, which is the standard recipe most Bolognese’s follow.
• Sauce can be made 3-4 days in advance and freezes nicely.
• If possible, always serve with fresh, long stranded pasta so that the sauce clings to the noodles.