Ragu alla bolognese

Yield: 12 servings

Measure Ingredient
½ ounce Dried porcini mushrooms
½ pounds Lean veal shoulder
½ pounds Lean beef round or shin
2½ ounce Pancetta or blanched bacon
4 ounces Large yellow onion
1 large Carrot
1 large Celery stalk
5 tablespoons Butter
3 tablespoons Olive oil
1 tablespoon Salt
¼ teaspoon Freshly ground black pepper
½ cup Dry red wine
2½ cup Drained canned plum tomatoes
½ cup Heavy cream
\N \N Freshly grated parmigiano
\N \N Freshly ground pepper

This takes a fair amount of time to make, but it freezes very well, so make a large batch. This is enough for 2½-to-3 pounds of pasta.

PUT THE PORCINI in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over them and let them sit for 30 minutes. Drain them, rinse carefully, chop coarsely and rinse carefully again. With a food processor or meat grinder, finely chop first the veal and beef, then the pancetta, onion, carrot and celery. Saute the pancetta and minced vegetables in the butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed casserole for 2 minutes over medium heat.

Turn heat to very low, cover and continue cooking 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover the pot and raise heat to medium high.

Add the beef, veal, mushrooms, salt and pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, until the meats just begin to lose their raw red color.

Then pour on the wine and cook until it is entirely evaporated. Set a food mill with the medium blade over the pot and mill in the tomatoes. Stir everything together and simmer, covered for 40 minutes. If possible, complete preparation to this point several hours in advance, or even the night before you plan to use the sauce.

Take it off the stove and let it cool if not serving immediately.

Transfer to container. Cover and refrigerate. The sauce may also be made to this point and frozen. Shortly before serving time, bring the sauce slowly to a simmer. Simmer 5 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and serve immediately over freshly cooked pasta, passing parmigiano and a pepper mill. To serve ragu in smaller quantities, heat about ½ cup of sauce per person and stir in 1 ½ to 2 tablespoons cream per serving.


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