Sunday, October 25, 2009

Ragu a la Bolognese

Ragu a la BologneseMy very favorite food in the whole entire world is spaghetti. I love pasta of any kind, but if I had to choose which pasta I loved the most it would be spaghetti--or at least what we Americans call "spaghetti." In actuality what I'm talking about is probably this dish. Ragu bolognese.

Whenever I had a birthday I'd ask Mom to make spaghetti and on the few times we went out to dinner I'd find it on the menu and eagerly anticipate. Of course I never found it to be quite as good as the homemade variety (darn Denny's) and I'd always go home every-so-slightly disappointed.

It surprises me how few people make homemade sauce because it is so easy and such a staple in our house.

The trick is low temperatures. You never want to cook onions on high heat, that makes them bitter, you want it low to medium, slow cooking makes all the flavors meld better. And if you're like me you want those pieces of celery and carrot chopped very fine. Flavor is good but pieces of celery staring up at you from your fork isn't.

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup minced onion
1 finely minced celery
½ cup finely minced carrot
1 pound mild Italian sausage
4 tablespoons red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon minced garlic
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 bay leaf
2 cups chicken broth
1 10 oz can tomato puree
3 tablespoons capers

Saute onion, celery and carrot in oil on medium-low heat for 8 min. Remove, then add sausage and cook until brown and broken up. Add the nest six ingredients through bay leaf, simmer for fifteen minutes, then add the onion/celery/carrot mix, broth and tomato puree and capers, simmer 1 hour. Discard bay leaf, toss with pasta and top with freshly grated parmesan.

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Lori said...

I make ours meatless, but either way, do you double or triple up your recipe ever to store some? Is it fine to freeze or just refrigerate? In the three times I've done this, I've never had enough leftover to store. Any tips?

cndymkr / jean said...

I just made some for dinner the other night. It always amazes me how inexpensive it is to make compared to how much the restaurants charge.

J at said...

Chicken broth? Really? I've never heard of chicken broth in pasta sauce. I love homemade sauces, and we rarely use a jar of sauce for that reason. Yum.

I am also usually disappointed by restaurant pastas. Unless it's something totally different than I make at home, I like mine better. But cream sauces, I don't make at home, so those are good at a restaurant. :)

Lori, I have doubled up and frozen sauce many a time. Works very well. I just wait for it to cool and put it in a freezer bag.

ArtisticInkspirations said...

Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmm.... bolognese normally takes so long to make. This reminds me of a meat-mushroom suace I make that I found in a newspaper over 30yrs ago... yummmmy.

Kristen M. said...

This sounds good. My kids have shunned tomato-based sauces for a couple of years but are now willing to try them again. I can't wait to try this recipe.

Robyn said...

I'm not sure if this is a faux pas, because I'm not a very talented cook, try as I might. But our family recipe is very, very simple but requires a long time of simmering. (still getting to the possible faux pas ...) I hate having to man the stove for an hour and a half, so I sometimes throw it in the crock pot (with a liner for no mess) and put it on low for the afternoon. That works if you have a sauce where you throw everything in at once. We just use tomato paste, water, oregano, bay leaves and basil, and add cooked ground beef or meatballs.

Scribbit said...

Lori- I have stored it like that though not for long periods. It usually doesn't last that long around here. I normally make enough for two or three days and we eat it on back to back days.

Flea said...

Oh yum. I'm going to have to try this. said...

This looks fabulous! I will be making this for sure! Thanks!

Jody said...

OH NO!!! HELP!!!!

I'm in the "hour long wait" for the Ragu a la Bolognese - and got to thinking that "red wine vinegar" - that your recipe states might have been an error and that perhaps it should have been simply "red wine". So, I scoured the web for other Ragu recipes and have discovered that most call for red wine - but none I've found yet call for any vinegar.

Michelle - is it really vinegar? Was this a type-o? Can it be salvaged (if indeed I've erred with the vinegar inclusion?) Oddly there are a fair number of recipes that call for milk as part of the equation......

Hmmm.... Hungry and inquiring minds want to know........


Scribbit said...

Jody--hope I'm not too late. YOu can use red wine too, though recipes that use that usually call for more--like 1/2 cup or so.

Anonymous said...

The ragu a la bolognese is on the stove as I write! I just tasted it on a slice of french bread. Oh my goodness gracious this is a heavenly recipe! Since this is a new recipe to my family I made it exactly as written and, Lordy Lordy, I wouldn't change a thing. Thanks for sharing.

Scribbit said...

Well I'm so glad you like it. Now that I see your comment I'm starting to crave some myself right now!