There is no ‘one authentic’ Ragu’a la Bolognese and each family will have their own particular version, but the basic ingredients will be the same. A true Ragu will be cooked for several hours to reach the right consistency, flavour and colour. In Italy Ragu’a la Bolognese will never be served with spaghetti, instead it will be served with tagliatelle or fettucine. Traditionally larger cuts of meat were used and cut up after cooking, if it did not fall apart, but today a good minced beef is the normal ingredient, that and a lot of love and attention to make a truly delicious “Ragu’a la Bolognese”.
300 g minced beef
150 g unsmoked pancetta ,minced
50 g carrot, finely chopped
50 g celery, finely chopped
50 g onion, finely chopped
30 g triple concentrated tomato purée
1/2 glass red wine
180 ml fresh milk
salt and pepper
400 g fresh Tagliatelle or Fettucine
Gently fry the Pancetta in a little olive oil until it starts to release its fat. Be careful it does not burn. Add the vegetables and fry until the onions are transparent, stirring from time to time. Add the minced beef and cook until it is lightly browned. Add the tomato purée and the wine and stir in well. Add the milk, bit by bit until it is completely absorbed.
Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook very slowly for 3 to 4 hours. Stir occasionally and if it looks like drying out, add a little more milk. Serve with Fettuccine or Tagliatelle. Serve with Parmesan cheese on the side. Alternatively toss the pasta first in a little butter and then in Parmesan before adding the meat sauce.