“A tavola non si invecchia”. - Italian proverb (At the table with good friends and family you do not become old).

Sharing authentic Italian recipes entrusted upon me through the privilege of being invited into many Italian homes and kitchen’s abroad. I travel, cook, eat, share, learn and photograph my experiences, a truly soul enriching journey. There are now over 100 recipes on this blog to search from. I am a Melbourne born girl who now resides in Pietrasanta, Italy. Sharing my love for food and all things Italian with you. I am not a professionally trained chef, just a person that really loves cooking and has made my passion my reality! Through talent and drive I now work as a private chef in some of the most prestigious private villa`s here in Tuscany, Italy!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Ragù alla bolognese (bolognese sauce)

To tell you the truth, I can't believe I am writing about this!  I can see Italian's now throwing their hands in the air "that's not how you make it"!!  Yes, there are many ways to make bolongese sauce, and admittedly I change the way in which I make it from time to time.  Today, I simply decided to share with you the way in which I made it today- trust me there were no complaints!  This recipe has the fundamentals of how I usually make my sauce, and perfect for winter!
The first known reference to "ragu alla bolognese" dates back to the lack 18th century originating from Bologna.  It is traditionally served with tagliatelle pasta.     
On a visit to Bologna it confirmed that using a variety of meats is the key to making a more complex sauce, and traditionally it was made using predominantly veal.
I have tried and loved many sauces, from the North to the South of Italy (the sauce becomes lighter and more tomato like further south).  Each sauce is different, and each household holds a secret! 
This is a robust sauce, that I feel respects the origins and authenticity!  Serve with fresh homemade pasta, top with freshly grated parmigiano cheese and enjoy with a glass of red wine- bliss! 
What you need:
500g mince beef
250g mince veal
250g mince pork
two 400g tins Italian tomatoes 
1/2 cup olive oil
one onion
two carrots
two celery stalks
5-6 gloves garlic
handful fresh parsley
handful fresh sage
handful fresh oregano
1-2 tablespoon fresh grated nutmeg
three bay leaves
three cups red wine
three cups beef stock (homemade)
two tablespoon tomato paste/concentrate
salt and black pepper to taste
How to make:
1: First you need to make the 'sofritto' (the Italian term for combining evenly chopped pieces of carrot, onion, celery, garlic and parsley to a pan).  Cooked the vegetables in the olive oil until soft.  TIP: add a little salt which will help slow down the cooking process and result in perfectly soft, translucent onions.
2: Add the mixed meats to the large saucepan and lightly brown.  Continue to stir and make sure meat is evenly cooked through.
3: Add the herbs, nutmeg, salt and pepper- stir through.
3:  Add the wine and cook for a further five minuets.
4: Add the remaining ingredients.  Cover and simmer, occasionally stirring for two hours.  Make a day ahead to allow the flavours to deepen!
rooftop view over Bologna
pasta making with Stephanie

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