The Ragù alla Bolognese is one of the most important recipes of my own city, perhaps the most famous Italian dish in the world. Unfortunately, it is also the most mangling Italian recipe! For the Bologna’s people, ragù is a very serious matter, more than can be expected! The preparation of this great recipe is very easy but needs time, right ingredients and a very good thick-bottomed heavy pot. So, take your time and be prepared to taste something different than the ordinary international “Bolognese sauce”.
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A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
Probably, the word “ragù” descend from the French term ragout, the technique of slow-cooking small pieces of meat or fish.
The Emilian cookbooks mention the Ragù al Bolognese since the XVII Century, but probably the recipe is more ancient. Initially, ragù hasn’t paired with pasta but served with bread slices or polenta.
As I previously said, in Bologna the ragù is a severe matter, and it is responsible for several quarrels!
In the 1982, the “Accademia della Cucina di Bologna”, the association that preserves the local culture and traditions, has published an official version of the recipe.
But, even this attempt hasn’t been ended the debate: in Bologna, every family is ready to swear that jealously keep the secret of the unique and original Ragù alla Bolognese!
WITCH KIND OF MEAT?
Choose the right kind of meat it is essential to prepare a great Ragù alla Bolognese. First of all, we need ground beef with at least 15% fat. Along with the beef, we need the right amount of quality of ground pork belly, fresh or cured, or a mixture of both.
BUTTER OR OLIVE OIL?
Starting to prepare an authentic ragù alla Bolognese, pick up the bottle of olive oil, put it aside into a cabinet, lock the door and forget it! In fact, the ragù does not needs any oil, but simply butter and meat fat.
TOMATO SAUCE OR TOMATO PASTE?
Tomato paste is my Personal choiche, because the taste is more intense and it is easier obtain the authentic flavor, but the official recipe let the choice free
CHOOSING THE RIGHT POT
The traditional pot is made of terracotta. Alternatively, a copper saucepan or an enamel dutch oven are the best choices.
HOW TO SERVE Ragù alla Bolognese
If you desire to taste an authentic ragù alla Bolognese like in Bologna we do, forget spaghetti and tortellini!
The most traditional pasta choices are tagliatelle and lasagna.
Tagliatelle has prepared with a simple dough made with flour and eggs, thick less than ad a dime and 1/3 inch large.
Lasagna dough is often green because minced spinach boiled inside the dough and made with seven layers of thin dough, alternating with béchamel sauce, Parmigiano Reggiano, and Ragù.
For everyday meals dried short pasta is acceptable: rigatoni or gobbi are the best choices. In this case is traditional, but not mandatory, add an half tbsp of heavy cream at the Ragù before tossing the pasta.
On the hills around Bologna is traditional to serve ragù alla Bolognese over speared yellow polenta, garnished with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Currently, is not common serve ragù over bread slices, but it is tough do not poach some bread into the pot preparing this tasty sauce!
PORK BELLY & BEEF
SLOW COOKING RAGÙ ALLA BOLOGNESE
Serving Size 1
Amount Per Serving Calories 619Total Fat 44gSaturated Fat 19gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 20gCholesterol 177mgSodium 285mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 48g
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