Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Bolognese from Florence

I wanted to share with you all this fabulous recipe I learned to make years ago while I was doing a semester abroad in Florence, Italy. I took a weekly cooking class while I was there - and this was one of my favorite things!

Over the years I've evolved the recipe, and I change it slightly each time I make it - it's ALWAYS good, it's pretty hard to mess this up. I usually do this on a Sunday since it takes a while, and needs to be looked after, but you can make a ton & keep to eat throughout the week! It's an excellent leftover!

This is more of a Ragu than a 'sauce' - it's very meaty, and there is definitely more meat than tomato - so if you're a vegetarian, this is just not for you.

You begin by finely chopping (or use your food processor) 2 medium onions, 3-4 peeled carrots, and 2 celery stalks, also known as the mirepoix. I personally like a few more carrots because I like the sweetness it adds to the ragu, and less celery - so go with what you like.

Sauté these in a little olive oil until onions are translucent... If you used the food processor this goes pretty fast. Then add your generously salted & peppered meat. This time, I used a mix of ground beef and ground pork - about 3.5 lbs. Sometimes I just use beef. FYI, it does NOT work with turkey.

Anyway - add the meat and mix in with the mirepoix, cook until meat is no longer pink, medium-high heat - add in 1 small can of tomato paste, mix it thoroughly, then add about a cup of dry red wine. Let the wine cook down.

Next add in 1 large can & 1 small can of crushed or diced tomatoes. (When I learned in Italy, they used the cans of whole tomatoes in sauce and let them cook down, but I find it easier to use the already diced or crushed tomatoes). Then add in as much chopped basil as you like.

Let cook on medium/medium-low for around 3 hours.

Here is is after about 45 minutes of cooking, still soupy:

As it cooks you will need to stir every so often. You'll start to see the amount of liquid become less & less as it cooks after a couple hours - add in beef broth to the mixture and let that cook down.

This little menace was circling the whole time I was cooking:

At the end it should not be 'saucy' at all, and you'll notice if you taste as you go, that the flavor will be much more rich than when you first started. Here it is cooked way down at around 3 hrs:

Serve over your favorite GF pasta (penne or spirals are best for this meaty ragu) and sprinkle a little pecorino romano on top & serve!


Lizzy said...

That looks fabulous Allie!! Yum!! I will have to make that!

aurorafedora said...

mm mm mm!!! i do love me some pasta! i have been very happy with the GF pastas i've tried. will have to make this soon. my hubby just shot a deer last week, so we have a butt load of venison. it will be tasty in this!

Allie said...

venison would be EXCELLENT in this dish actually.

Laurie said...


Gretchen said...

I just learned this recipe at a cooking class in Tuscany! It was very similar to yours. I'm planning to try it out this weekend. Yum!