Simple Bolognese Sauce

July 10, 2014
2 Ratings
  • Serves 6
Author Notes

Sometimes we call this “The Ragu.” A traditional ragu Bolognese would have veal and pork in addition to the beef, but this is Catcher’s favorite, so he gets what he likes. The secret to this dish is adding the ingredients at specific times and letting the flavors develop. It’s a little bit of food magic. —Jonathon Sawyer

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 pound pancetta or lightly smoked bacon
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 Vidalia onion, chopped
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1/2 bulb fennel, chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon anchovy paste, or an anchovy fillet
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh herbs (choose your favorite: oregano, parsley, basil)
  • 1/2 pound 70% lean grass-fed beef
  • 1 cup dry Italian red wine
  • 1 cup whole organic milk
  • 2 cups tomato passato
  1. Combine pancetta or bacon, 1 tablespoon olive oil, onion, carrot, fennel, and 2 tablespoons herbs in the food processor. Pulse until finely chopped and well combined. (This mixture is often know as the soffritto.) Sauté the soffritto slowly over low heat, stirring often, approximately 25 minutes.
  2. Add beef to soffritto and increase heat to medium. Lightly brown the meat, using a potato masher to achieve a fine texture
  3. Add wine and cook over medium-high heat until 90% of the wine has evaporated. Add milk and continue to cook over medium high heat until 70% of milk has evaporated. (It will appear to curdle. This is just part of the magic.) Add passato, lower heat and simmer for 40 minutes.

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1 Review

Rachel C. September 21, 2015
Do we add the garlic to the soffritto or later? Please clarify. Thanks!