Anna Nanni’s Ragu alla Bolognese

1 28oz can whole peeled tomatoes (with juice)*
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil*
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
3 rib celery, finely chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 medium carrot, finely chopped
1 1/4 lb. ground beef chuck
1/2 lb. ground pork shoulder
1 4oz piece pancetta, finely chopped*
1/2 cup dry red wine*
2 tablespoons tomato paste*
Kosher salt & freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Put the tomatoes and their juice in a blender; puree until
smooth and set aside.

Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy-bottomed pot
over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook, stirring
occasionally, until its fat is rendered. Then add the celery,
onions, and carrots, season with salt and pepper, and cook,
stirring frequently, until soft and lightly browned, about 15
minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally,
until very soft and caramelized, about 15 minutes more.

Add the beef and pork and cook, stirring and breaking up
with a wooden spoon, until the meat is no longer pink – do
not brown. Increase the heat to medium, add the wine and
simmer, stirring constantly, until half evaporated, about 5
minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently,
for 2 minutes. Then add reserved tomato puree, reduce heat
to low, and simmer, stirring occassionally until sauce is very
thick, about three hours or longer.
Season ragu with salt and pepper. Toss with fresh tagliatelle
or the pasta of your choice, or use in lasagne. Serve with
grated Parmigiano-Reggiano.

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