Ragù alla Bolognese
The origin of the name is certainly French where for ragoût we mean the stewed preparations, made with vegetables and meat, deriving from the adjective ragoutant which means "appetizing, tantalizing or tempting", but also from ragôuter which can be translated as "awaken appetite. "
Numerous legends are told about its origin, one of which attributes the invention to a Bolognese chef who worked at the French court of Louis XIV. That invented by the chef was a version similar to that of the Neapolitan ragù, where the dog is not minced but cooked to pieces in tomato sauce. Subsequently, the cook began preparing a sauce with minced meat to make a compact and tasty sauce with which to season pasta.
Another legend wants instead that the Ragù was prepared for the first time in Italy and precisely in Bologna, around the sixteenth century in the kitchens of the rich courts of noble families because the meat, at the time, was a food that could only afford the wealthy.
Curiosity: during the fascist period, the regime tried to "Italianize" the term, seen as not purely Italian and therefore not suited to the fascist vocabulary, transforming it into a ragutto.
Thanks to its ease of manufacture and its exceptional taste, Ragù in the classic or white version is one of the most famous and appreciated sauces in the world. We find numerous versions that reflect the tastes and foods typical of the various regions and countries where it is made.
✓ 250 g of pork loin minced
✓ 350 g of ground beef
✓ 150 g stretched bacon
✓ 400 g of tomato sauce
✓ 1 onion
✓ 1 celery stalk
✓ 1 carrot
✓ 1/2 glass of dry white wine
✓ 1 glass of whole milk
✓ extra virgin olive oil
✓ 1 knob of butter
✓ coarse salt
✓ black pepper
1 Finely chop the celery, carrot and onion. Heat the oil in a large-bottomed saucepan, add the vegetables, the diced bacon and the butter. Soften them slowly over low heat.
2 After about 2 minutes add the minced meat. Sauté over high heat, stirring constantly and shelling the meat with a wooden spoon or with the pan.
3 Add the white wine and let it evaporate. When the wine is completely absorbed, add the milk and cook over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt and black pepper.
4 Finally add the tomato puree, stir and bring to a boil. Cover the pan with a lid but without sealing (place a wooden spoon between the pan and the lid) and cook over low heat for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
By using finer cuts of meat and decreasing the amount of tomato you can reduce cooking times; the result is a thicker meat sauce.
The secret of a good ragù is to cook it on a low heat ... in the Neapolitan culture it is said "pappuliare" that is to boil slowly so as to see the bubbles.
The preparation of the ragù is so versatile that it can be made in many variants, from the most refined in white to the more traditional ones with game.
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