An authentic Ragu Bolognese, like a comforting hug from an Italian nonna.
Course: Dinner, Lunch
2tablespoonextra-virgin olive oil(see notes)
1(about 1 1/2 cups) medium onionsfinely chopped
3celery stalksfinely chopped
160ml(2/3 cup) red wine(not sweet wine)
4tablespoon(1/3 cup) tomato paste(see notes)
1tspfreshly ground black pepper
2dried bay leaves
160ml(2/3 cup) whole milk
Finely grated Parmesan(for serving)
Heat oil in a very large heavy based pan, or dutch oven, over medium-high heat. Add garlic, onions, celery, and carrots. Sauté until soft, around 5 minutes. Add pancetta and saute for another 2-3 mintutes.
Add the beef and pork, and cook stirring and breaking up with the back of a spoon, until browned, about 5-10 minutes. Add wine; boil for 1 minute, stirring often and scraping up browned bits. Add tomato paste and stir through, followed by the beef stock. Bring it all to a simmer.
Now add the rest of the ingredients; oregano, sugar, pepper, salt, bay leaves and milk. Stir well to combine.
Reduce heat to very low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally for 1 1/2 - 2 hours. Check the seasoning towards the end and add more salt and pepper to taste if required.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with salt; add pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until 1 minute before al dente. Drain quickly, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. Add the pasta straight to the ragu, and toss to coat. Stir in some of the reserved pasta water by tablespoonfuls if sauce seems dry. Divide pasta among warm plates. Sprinkle with grated parmesan.
I use a standard Australian 20ml tablespoon.
Make this ragu up to 2 days ahead. Once it has simmered for the 2 hours, allow it to cool in the fridge uncovered. Once completely cooled, cover and reheat in a pot when required.