Sauce Bolognese...Commonly Called Meat Sauce.

Ragu alla bolognese
Ragù Alla Bolognese by Sonia Peronaci
The famous meat sauce called Ragú alla Bolognese, means meat sauce, a specialty of Bologna, the capital of the region of Emilia-Romagna in Italy....

map of emilia romagna map
Courtesy of Google

As you can see from the map this region includes the well know cities of Parma (Parmesan cheese), Modena for the manufacture of the super cars, and Balsamic Vinegar,  Bologna for its famous Bolognese sauce. It is said that the bolognese sauce,( Ragù alla Bolognese in Italy, meat sauce in the States) was registered by the Culinary Institute of Bologna with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce in 1982 where it is mentioned that the sauce is made of a mixture of ground beef, ground pork, and salted pork belly (pancetta tesa) and most important the addition of milk and / or fresh cream at the end. The region of Emilia-Romanga is known for excellent food.

Serves 6
  • 100 gr salted pork belly bacon or Canadian bacon not smoked finely chopped.
  • 250 gr of ground beef.
  • 250 gr of ground pork.
  • 1 onion finely chopped.
  • 1 stalk of celery finely chopped.
  • 1 medium to large carrot finely chopped.
  • 30 gr concentrate of tomato dissolved in some beef stock.
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil.
  • 50 gr fresh butter.
  • 1 cup of dry red wine.
  • 1 cup of whole milk, fresh cream 35% or half and half.
  • 250 ml hot beef stock.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.

This recipe belongs to Sonia Peronaci of Same goes for the picture above.

  • Heat oil in a large sauce pan and melt butter.
  • Add the onion, celery, carrots and stir-fry on medium heat till the onion is transparent and soft. The celery and the carrots have all the time cook by the time the sauce is ready.
  • Add the bacon, beef, and pork and stir well to break the lumps of meat. Try not to have any lumps.
  • Keep on stirring for 30 minutes. I know it is a pain in the neck to say the least.
  • When time is up, add the wine and stir till it evaporates.
  • Add the tomato concentrate.Stir.
  • Lower heat to minimum and let simmer for 90 minutes, stirring every once in a while and adding hot stock if needed. Keep enough liquid in there as per your taste. If you like the sauce to be liquidy add more stock if you like your sauce to be dry just meat, then keep the stock to a minimum so as not to burn the meat.
  • When the 90 minutes are up, add up the milk, cream or ½ or ½.
  • Stir, till meat absorbs the milk etc.
  • Serve hot over your favorite pasta. 
In Emilia-Romagna this sauce is usually made with Emiliani type tagliatelle which are wider than the usual tagliatelle found in commerce but narrower than the papardelle which are 2 cm wide.

The usual way Bolognese sauce is eaten is with spaghetti....spaghetti and meat sauce...spaghetti Bolognese but it is wrong. The French say "Les couleures et les goûts ne se discutent pas" each person has his likes and dislikes.

Anyway enjoy this meat sauce anyway you like but don't forget to sprinkle some Parmesan cheese on top if you like cheese.


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