Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Bolognese Ragu alla Batali and Brooklyn

I finally was able to upload my pictures from the Valentine's day dinner I made for my husband. He is a native born Italian, so of course his favorite food is pasta, and he especially loves a meat sauce or "ragu," as they say in Italian.

I use a variation of Mario Batali's Ragu Bologonese.

Watch Mario make a very enticing Ragu Bologonese in this video. Click on the arrow on screen to start:

Or, if you prefer, here is the same video on this link on YouTube:

This is Mario Batali's famous Ragu Bolognese recipe that he cooks in the video:

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 medium onion, very finely chopped
4 stalks celery, very finely chopped
4 carrots, very finely chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
3/4 pound ground veal
3/4 pound ground pork
3/4 pound ground beef
1 6-ounce can tomato paste
1 cup whole milk
1 cup dry white wine
Salt to taste

1 pound spinach tagliatelle, cooked and drained
serve with grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

1. Heat the oil and butter in a 6- to 8-quart heavy-bottomed pot, set over medium heat, until hot. Add the onion, celery, carrots and garlic, and cook until the vegetables are translucent but not browned, 8 to 10 minutes. Add the veal, pork and beef. Increase the heat to high, and brown the meat, stirring frequently, for about 25 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium, and continue to cook and stir for another 20 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste, and cook for another 30 minutes. Add the milk, and cook over high heat for five minutes. Add the wine, reduce the heat to medium, and simmer for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, adding a splash of water if necessary to keep the sauce from drying out.
2. Season the ragù with salt. Remove it from the heat, and let it cool. To serve with pasta, add 2 cups of the ragù to the tagliatelle, and toss briefly over high heat. Divide among four serving bowls, and garnish with Parmigiano-Reggiano. Serves 4. (The remaining ragù can be refrigerated for up to 4 days, or frozen for up to 1 month.)

To paraphrase Mario from this video, every Italian mother and grandmother, sister, Aunt and brother in Italy can have a different version of this recipe, and all are correct. Italy is made up of many different regions, and each region very often has their own unique variation of a popular recipe incorporating the influences of past generations.
In my Valentine Day dinner I used an imported Calabrese tricolore Schiaffoni pasta (translation of tricolore: "three colored," consisting of a blend of three flavors of pasta noodle traditionally one orange colored and flavored with carrot, one red colored and flavored with tomato, and one white or plain in color)

I also used the pork, veal and beef ground meat to make meatballs, which I cooked in my sauce. We prefer to eat it that way, yet the sauce retains a delicious meat flavor. I also added some browned pork sausage, and because I was adding all this meat which I wanted to cook submerged in the sauce I also added 2, 28 ounce cans of crushed tomatoes in addition to the tomato paste that the recipe calls for. Everything simmers slowly for over two hours and the sauce condenses quite a bit. At the end of cooking I remove the meatballs and sausage and serve it on the side with the pasta dish. And, of course, a big crusty piece of Italian bread is required to sop up any remaining sauce left in you dish after you eat the pasta. Add a salad and some red wine and this meal will have you saying ... Lasciati andare in cucina! (Love and cook with wild abandon!)


Junie Moon said...

What a wonderful recipe, so full of goodness. I really appreciate your sharing it.

I have to say that blogging has been a fantastic blessing to me in every way with only one exception. I'm gaining weight from recipes y'all are so graciously sharing. Maybe we need to do a post on how to get a simple glass of water and enjoy it for what it is (grin). My...uh...voluptuosity would be toned down a mite, I suspect.

lisa said...

i'm not quite sure why i didn't get any of the leftovers!

Tara said...

Hi Pat

Thank you for stopping by my blog and leaving such a nice comment! I am going to try this Bolognese recipe as I love that parents are from Park Slope originally!Nice to mee you!
PS My great grandfather worked on the Brooklyn bridge--saw it in your pic

daydreamstudios said...

Yum. Looks delicious!

You're invited!!!!

What: A Blog Party


When: Now thru next Tuesday

Why: Becuase I made it to 100 posts (wasn't sure I'd make it past 3)

Time: My blog never sleeps, so come when you can.

Who: You of course, bring a friend too.

P.S.: I have a present to give away! said...

That looks delicious.