There are several versions of the Ragu sauce. There are some classic Italian versions and some more westernised ones. My preference leans towards one of the Italian classics. Ragu Bolognese is of the region of Bologna as the name implies. This version of the sauce uses fresh vegetables, such as the sweetness of carrots instead of using sugar. I’m personally not a fan of using sugar in cooking most savoury dishes, hence why this version is my favourite.
In addition to using carrots, I’ve also used red bell peppers for a richer flavour and colour. While for the use of tomatoes most recipes usually call for just the classic pureed tomato “Passata”. I opted to use a combination of freshly chopped tomatoes and the store-bought Passata from one of my favourite brands. Passata is ripened tomatoes that have been pureed and strained. Specifically, tomatoes have been passed through a grinding mill and strainer. Hence the name “Passata”.
The Essentials of a flavourful ragu:
There are several essentials to get a really rich and flavourful Ragu bolognese sauce without actually doing much. The obvious is the use of extra virgin olive oil, a good pureed tomato base and red wine. The not so obvious is the use of both pork and beef, the combination of both at a rough 3:1 ratio makes a great ragu sauce. Also, it is important to cook the sauce in a steel pan rather than the regular non-stick pan. This helps to draw out the flavour from the meats when browning as it sticks to the bottom of the pot. Finally and most importantly, there is nothing like a quick ragu sauce. Easy but not quick, the longer the sauce cooks, gives time for the flavours to blend richly and for the alcohol in the wine to burn out.
If you like this recipe, you might also like the recipe for Authentic Spaghetti alla Carbonara Romana.
Ragu bolognese sauce
- 1 kg Minced Beef
- 250 g Minced Pork
- 3 Carrots (Roughly chopped in small cubes)
- 1 Celery Stalk (Roughly chopped in small cubes)
- 1 Red Onions (Roughly chopped in small cubes)
- 2 Garlic Glove (Finely chopped)
- 5 Plum Tomatoes (Roughly chopped in small cubes)
- 1 Red Bell Pepper (Roughly chopped in small cubes)
- ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 680 g Pureed tomatoes (passata) (not tomato paste)
- 750 ml Red Wine
- 2 Basil leaf
- 2 tsp Salt
- Place a deep pot (preferably steel pot instead of non-stick) over medium-high heat. Toss in the minced pork followed by the minced beef. Stir together and cook for 10 minutes or until the juice from the meat reduces.
- Simultaneously, Place a frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour in the olive oil and when hot add the chopped garlic, carrots, onions, celery and peppers. Reduce heat and let cook for 10 minutes.
- Pour the cooked vegetables from the pan into the pot of meat. Also pour in the chopped tomatoes, cover with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes.
- Pour in the pureed tomatoes, followed by red wine. Cover with a lid and simmer on low-medium heat for 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours until the sauce reduces in half.
- Pay attention to the sauce while its cooking and stir occasionally so it doesn't burn. Toss in 2 basil leaves at the last 10 minutes and salt to season. Serve and Enjoy.