Ragù (meat sauce) originally comes from Bologna. There is even an official version of this most famous of sauces, but many cooks, even in the ragù’s hometown, apply their own twist. This recipes uses no particular tricks, just a respect for tradition, great ingredients and thoughtful execution.
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 large carrot, finely chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 large celery stalk, finely chopped
1 teaspoon oregano
½ pound / 230 g ground pork shoulder
10 ounces / 300 g ground beef
⅔ cup / 160 ml red wine
2cups/500ml tomato passata(strained puree of raw tomatoes)
4 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup / 250 ml beef stock, plus more if needed
Fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound / 500 g tagliatelle pasta, fresh or dried
Grated parmesan cheese, for serving
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the carrot, onion, celery, and oregano. Cook until slightly coloured, about 5 minutes. Add the pork and cook until browned, then add the beef and cook until browned, about 8 minutes. Add the red wine and cook for 2 minutes to reduce.
Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the tomato passata and tomato paste. Add the beef stock and stir well until the tomato paste is incorporated. Season with salt and black pepper. Reduce the heat to as low as possible. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, adding a few tablespoons of beef stock if the mixture looks a little dry, until you get a smooth and rich sauce, about 3 hours.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the tagliatelle to the boiling water and cook to al dente according to the package directions. Drain the pasta, toss into the ragù sauce, and mix gently to combine. Serve immediately with grated Parmesan.
Excerpted from Old World Italian: Recipes and Secrets from our Travels in Italy by Mimi Thorisson. Copyright © 2020 Marie-France Thorisson. Photography Copyright © 2020 Oddur Thorisson. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.