Ragù alla Bolognese

Serves 6

Beloved Italian-born cookbook author Marcella Hazan codified the classic recipe for Bolognese, the sauce most closely associated with ragu. As is typical of the north of Italy, this dish is made with ground meat, usually beef. This is most often served on tagliatelle.

  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ⅛ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 14-ounce can plum tomatoes, cut up, with juice

In a Dutch oven, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook 5 minutes, or until translucent. Add celery and carrot. Cook an additional 2 minutes and stir. Incorporate ground meat, a large pinch of salt and a grinding of pepper. Cook, stirring well for 5–6 minutes, or until meat is no longer pink. Add milk and cook gently for about 10–15 minutes, or until absorbed. Pour in wine and sprinkle in nutmeg. Cook for about 10–15 minutes, or until absorbed. Add tomatoes. Bring mixture to a boil, then turn way down and simmer, covered, for about 3 hours, or until thickened. Season to taste.