If you’re in the mood for a pasta dish that everyone at the table will love, try making a classic Bolognese sauce. It’s a ragù, or a meat-based sauce, that originates from Bologna, Italy. It’s more complex than your typical Italian red sauce because it has carrots, celery and whole milk. The result is a sauce with an incredible depth of flavor. Bolognese sauce is simmered for hours, giving the ingredients a chance to meld into something truly special.
Pro tip: I prefer a broader noodle for this recipe, like pappardelle or tagliatelle, but you can use whatever type of pasta you like.
Make sauce first, then pasta once sauce is ready.
In the bowl of a food processor, add onion, carrots, celery and garlic. Pulse until finely chopped.
On medium-low heat, add the olive oil to a large Dutch oven.
When the oil is hot, add the vegetables and the salt to the Dutch oven and then sauté until the vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, rinse out the food processor bowl and add the pork chops and the pancetta. Pulse until coarsely chopped.
Add the ground beef and pork chop and pancetta mixture to the Dutch oven with the vegetables. Stir together and sauté until the meat is mostly cooked. Drain any excess fat.
Add the wine and let it reduce for 5 minutes.
Stir in the tomato paste, tomatoes and the stock. Turn the heat to low and simmer everything together for 1 ½ hours, stirring occasionally.
Stir in the milk and then simmer for another hour, stirring occasionally.
Season with pepper to taste and add any additional salt if necessary.
15 minutes before you are ready to eat, cook the pasta al dente according to package instructions.
Drain the pasta water, reserving ¼ cup.
Add the sauce to the pasta and toss everything together. Add some of the pasta water if it is too thick.
Put the pasta in a large serving bowl and top with parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.
This meal goes perfectly with some piping hot garlic bread and a mixed Italian salad with vinegar and peppers. Don’t forget to open a bottle of Chianti or a nice Sangiovese.
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