An authentic Italian Ragu Alla Bolognese sauce over wide pappardelle egg noodles, topped with pockets of creamy burrata and ricotta cheese! The only meat sauce recipe you’ll ever need.
Bologna or Bologona la Grassa, the home to Ragu Alla Bolognese, heavenly Lasagna, Parmigiano Reggiano and Prosciutto di Parma. It’s where good food has permanent residency and where Lasagne Al Forno and the best Bolognese reign over the land.
Every household in Bologna has its own variation of the classic slow simmered meat sauce. So I figured that a rainy chilly day as today would be the perfect time to share my own.
Because In the middle of winter, is there anything more comforting than a steaming bowl of pappardelle under your nose ? Me thinks not!
This is one meal that can not be rushed, so please take your time making it. Plan to make it on your day off and give it a good 4 to 6 hours on the stove top.
Whaaat? How many hours you say? Yes kids, you read that correctly and you’ll thank me later. Plus what an amazing way to warm up your home as well as your family’s heart.
The pappardelle pasta noodles are suggested in this recipe because of the wide long cut noodle’s ability to hold the thick sauce. However, any large pasta with ridges would do the job just fine.
I usually add pockets of burrata cheese or spoonfuls of fresh ricotta on top, just before serving. I love the temperature contrast of hot and cold, and also the soft fresh taste of burrata and ricotta sneaking in with the comforting long simmered taste of the sauce.
Pappardelle Ragu Alla Bolognese Sauce Recipe
- 1 yellow onion -diced
- 1 large carrot -diced
- 1 celery stalk -sliced
- 3 tbs extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tbs butter
- 1 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 leaves bay
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 2 x 28 oz cans whole San Marzano tomatoes in tomato puree
- 1/3 lb chicken livers- chopped (OPTIONAL but recommended)
- 1 1/2 lb ground beef
- 1/2 lb ground pork
- 1 1/2 c red wine
- 1 c whole milk
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt + more to your taste buds
- freshly cracked black pepper to taste
- freshly grated nutmeg
- Parmigiano Reggiano for grating
- 1 lb pappardelle pasta
- 2 sprigs fresh basil
- 1 lb burrata cheese for serving
- Heat up the olive oil and butter in a large enameled cast iron pot. Add the red pepper flakes and onion with a pinch of sea salt. Saute until translucent.
- Stir in the chopped liver ( strongly recommended, the flavors are to die for ) and let cook for 5 minutes then mix in the diced carrots and celery. Allow everything to cook together for another 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and the ground meat to the pot and break it up with the side of a wooden spoon. Cook until no longer pink, then add the tomato paste and the wine.
- Allow to simmer until the wine has evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add the milk and cook another 5 minutes until evaporated.
- Crush the tomatoes with your hands and add them to the pot together with the bay leaves and the sea salt. Partially cover with a lid and bring to a slow simmer.
- Allow to cook for about 4 to 5 hours stirring often and adding about half a cup of water ever so often if to keep the sauce from drying out.
- After 5 hours and once the sauce has the desired consistency ( you want a nice thick sauce ), adjust seasonings, remove from heat and grate in some of the nutmeg.
- Stir and serve on top of your perfectly cooked tagliatelle or pappardelle with a nice sprinkling of freshly grated parmigiano reggiano .
- Cook the pasta al dente, following the instructions on the package. Reserve 1 cup of the pasta water just in case you need to add some to the sauce. Remember, your pasta water should taste like sea water, so be generous with the sea salt.
- Serve the ragu sauce on top of the pasta topped with the burrata pockets and sprinkled with some torn basil leaves.
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