First of all, the secrets which make all the difference
- Opt for a minced meat – beef only or mixed beef (2/3) and pork (1/3) – that is not too meagre
- Add the salt right in the beginning of the cooking process to make sure the juice spreads into the sauce
- Add milk to the meat before adding wine and tomatoes to protect the meat from acidity
- Use a cast iron, ceramic or a heavy bottomed saucepan
- Cook the sauce for a very long time (3 hours minimum)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, finely diced
3 stalks celery, chopped
4 medium carrots, chopped
350g marbled minced beef (or 2/3 beef and 1/3 pork)
1/4l full fat milk
a tiny pinch of nutmeg
1/4l dry white wine
750g ripe tomatoes (or 500g canned pelati with the juice)
Heat olive oil and butter in a saucepan. Cook the diced onion until soft. Add the celery and the carrots. Cook for about 2 minutes always stirring until the vegetables are evenly coated with the oil/butter mixture.
Add the minced meat, a generous pinch of salt, pepper, and stir until it is evenly crumbly and doesn’t look raw anymore.
Add the milk and – stirring continuously- let it evaporate. Add the tiny pinch of nutmeg.
Add the wine and let it evaporate slowly, then add the tomatoes and mix well. As soon as the tomatoes begin to bubble reduce heat to very low.
Let it simmer for at least 3 hours stirring occasionally. Now the fat should have separated from the meat and the sauce should have lost most of the water. In case it turns too dry, add 1/8l water. Don’t be worried about simmering for an extra half an hour or more, because the more time you simmer the better.
Finally season to taste with salt and pepper. Voilà, your perfectly Italian ragù alla bolognese!
Mix the sauce with the pasta and serve with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.