No, not that kind!! I’m talking Ragù Bolognese, the hearty rustic pasta sauce found in Northern Italy.
All regions of Italy have their own version of ‘gravy’, they vary slightly but not by much. I’ll say my Gypsy version uses influences from Bologna to Sicily.
This dish takes a long time to cook, I usually make a large batch and freeze small servings for later.
5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 pound pancetta parma ham or bacon, roughly chopped
2lbs ground beef or pork (or 1/2 and 1/2)
1 medium onion, diced
1 medium carrot, diced
1 celery stick, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup dry white wine (or vermouth) or red wine
1 cup milk or heavy cream
1 cup chicken or beef stock
1 8oz can of tomato paste
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon thyme
Salt and pepper to taste
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, cook pancetta or bacon until most of the fat is rendered. Pour off most of the fat and replace it with olive oil.
Add carrot, celery, onion and saute 4 minutes or until onion is translucent and mixture just begins to brown. Add wine and garlic and cook another until wine has boiled away and vegetables begin to fry again. You will hear them sizzle when the liquid is gone.
Add the meat and chopped herbs,then cook until the meat has browned. Add tomato sauce and stock and reduce heat to low.
Simmer the sauce, stirring occasionally, for at least 2 hours. Add more stock or water to prevent over drying or sticking if necessary. Before serving, stir in the cream and continue simmering for another 10 to 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.