Four bolognese recipes and five years since my trip to Italy and I finally have THE bolognese recipe. It was the thing I have tried to replicate over and over since I got back and it was sometimes good, sometimes very good but never right. I can’t believe I didn’t try Marcella’s recipe first, for shame. Now I know. This is my slightly modified version (as in, I didn’t measure anything).
Adapted from the Classic Italian Cookbook
1T vegetable oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
500 g ground beef chuck
1C 2% milk
1C white wine
1 1/2C canned tomatoes, broken into pieces, with juice
pasta, cooked and drained
Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated
fresh parsley, minced
1. Put oil, 3T butter and onion in a heavy pot and turn heat to medium. Cook, stirring until it has become translucent, then add the celery and carrot. Cook and stir for about 2 minutes.
2. Add ground beef, a large pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Crumble meat with a fork and continue stirring until beef has lost its raw color.
3. Add milk and let simmer gently, stirring to avoid letting it stick. Add a tiny grating, about 1/8 teaspoon, fresh nutmeg and stir.
4. When milk has all been absorbed. Add wine and let it simmer until it has absorbed. Then add tomatoes and stir thoroughly. When sauce starts to bubble, turn down the heat to low so that only a very occasional bubble breaks the surface.
5. Cook, uncovered, for 3 hours or more, stirring from time to time. At the end the liquid should be completely evaporated but if you find it starts to dry out early add some water or some extra tomato juice and stir it in. Taste and correct for salt.
6. Toss a bit of the sauce with pasta and serve the remaining on top of each bowl oor on a large platter, sprinkle with parsley and freshly grated Parmesan on the side.[/print_this]