A myriad of delicious ingredients slowly simmered for deeply flavored old world Italian Meat sauce or Ragù Bolognese.
Italian Meat Sauce (Ragù Bolognese)
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Y’all I am so excited about this recipe!!! SOOO excited. it’s incredible.
How to make the best Ragu Bolognese
Soffritto (fancy Italian word for vegetables cooked together low and slow until they create a beautiful (bellisimo) bit of deliciousness!) mixed with a mixture of garlic and bacon to deepen those incredible soffritto flavors a bit more. Now we will turn this into a meat sauce; enter spicy sausage. Mmm!
Dear reader, at this point your house will be smelling like absolute Heaven and you will once again be wishing you could marry me! Sorry y’all, not interested; let’s keep cooking!
Next we will add tomato paste to the pan, let it caramelize for just a moment and then use it to flavor all those vegetables and meat. Pour in some white wine to deepen the flavor to a mind-blowing level of amazing and then reduce it down until you’ve (almost) forgotten it was in there. Now we will add chicken stock and let the entire concoction cook low and slow for a few hours until your entire neighborhood can smell the goodness and will be making up excuses to come see what’s on your stove:
The Best Spaghetti Sauce in the world!
What ya got cooking, Good Looking?!
Yes, I totally just called you good looking. If you were unfortunate looking before; you’re not now because you’ve just created a masterpiece and anything you do with a passion, especially good cooking, it can make you bellisimo!
Whoa there Hottie-Manicottie! Back to the Italian meat sauce; finally, we will add herbs and milk and let the sauce finish it’s cooking process while we make the noodles to pour this beautiful Ragu Bolognese atop. Or you can just eat it with a spoon! I wont judge. In fact, I’d probably join you.
As I was making this Italian meat sauce and photographing it I was reminded of a time when I was eating out at this delightful little restaurant called La Dolce Vita, in Provo Utah. It was owned and run by a family my Dad met on a two year service mission in Italy.
The little old Italian woman that did all the cooking there came out to talk to me and kiss my cheeks and call me sweet names; She asked how my parents were doing and how many kids they had now. When I told her that my family now had ten kids her eyes got huge and she said with her fabulous Italian accent and loads of surprise,
Ten kids?! Mamma mia…
Hahaha!!! Yes y’all, ten kids.
My Dad used to make the most incredible Italian Meat Sauce he claimed was just like the ones he ate on his mission. He would slave over it all day long and then we would devour it without the proper appreciation owed after that much slavering.
There was this one time that my parents were going on a double date (to La Dolce Vita actually) with some friends of theirs. They left all their older children in charge.
Dear Reader, I would like to take this moment to point out that I am actually a very responsible watcher of children when they are left in my care.
However at that point in my life, much to my chagrin, I was not considered one of the older kids. We will add another “however” though to say that this turned out being in my favor on that particular night.
Family Style Dinner
On that afore-mentioned evening; My Dad made spaghetti with Italian Meat Sauce for all of us hooligans to eat while they were gone.
Notice that I referred to us as Hooligans? That is because as we sat there eating that delicious spaghetti, one of us kids had a genius idea.
Now I am usually known for having genius ideas. Well actually, no I’m not. But every now and again I do have them; and I’m not saying it was me who had this great idea, I’m just saying that it was either me or someone else, and it wasn’t someone else…
Eek! Y’all there was spaghetti everywhere! EVERYWHERE. We’re talking on the ceilings, the floors, cupboards, hair and bodies and clothing of all children involved. Everywhere.
Palm slap to forehead.
Well actually the slap was to the bottoms of all the older kids that were left in charge of us sweet little children. Insert evil laugh here, (that is, after I got done hiding in case I was considered a big kid after all); Mwahahaha!
Okay I think I’ve been blabbering long enough about Italian Meat Sauce. Can I just tell you one more time though, you guys this is sooo good! Mamma Mia! Bellisimo! Delizioso!
Whoa, I just realized how great this post is tonight; Not only am I sharing an amazing recipe, but I’m also basically making you fluent in Italian. Or at least in all the important Italian words. Wink! Wink! Ammiccare la strizzata d’occhi!
Recipe for Italian Meat Sauce (Ragu Bolognese):
Flirting with Flavor
Yields 8-10 servings
30 minPrep Time
4 hrCook Time
4 hr, 30 Total Time
- 2 Carrots, peeled and minced
- 1/2 onion, minced
- 1 Tablespoon Butter
- 8 bulbs Garlic, peeled
- 6 strips Bacon
- 1 16oz package Spicy Sausage
- 1 4-6oz can Tomato Paste
- 2 dashes of Nutmeg
- 1.5 cup White Wine (such as Sauvignon Blanc or Vermouth)
- 3.5 cups Water
- 4 cubes Chicken Bullion
- 1 tsp dried Oregano
- 1 tsp dried Basil
- 1 and 1/4 c Milk (preferably whole milk for richest flavor)
- 1 TBS Fresh Basil, chopped fine
- Combine Carrots, Onion and Butter and season generously with salt and pepper; in a Large Sauce pan on med-low for 15 minutes, stirring when needed and adding 1 TBS of water here and there as needed to keep the vegetables from browning. These is a quick Soffritto.
- In a food processor combine garlic and bacon and pulse until it has ALMOST become a paste.
- Add garlic-bacon mixture to the soffritto and stir all ingredients together.
- Cook for 5 minutes, then push the vegetale bacon mixture out toward the edges of the pan.
- In the now vacant center of your saucepan, add the tomato paste and nutmeg. Let it sit on the heat until it has warmed through, then stir it into the other ingredients already in the pot.
- Cook for 2 minutes, then add the Spicy sausage, and up the temperature to medium.
- Cook for ten minutes, stirring often to keep anything from browning.
- Now add your wine and increase the heat to med-high-high. Let everything cook until the wine is almost entirely evaporated (about 8 minutes).
- Add the water, Bullion, and dry seasonings to the pot and bring to a simmer.
- Reduce heat to med-low-low and cover pot with a lid.
- Cook like this for 2.5 hours, stirring every thirty minutes or so to keep anything from cooking to the bottom of your pot.
- Turn heat up to med-high and add your milk.
- Once the sauce begins to simmer, reduce heat down to low again.
- Let cook another hour then stir in fresh basil.
- Serve over pasta noodles, and ENJOY!!!
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