Have a case of the Mondays? Here's a delicious recipe sure to cheer up everyone in the house. Ragu Bolognese is a rich, red sauce that originated in, of course, Bologna, Italy. It's a meat-based sauce that packs a punch because it also takes some time to prepare, allowing ingredients like white wine, pancetta (pork belly), half-and-half, and a few vegetables to blend flavors and create a thick, creamy sauce. Serve it over your favorite pasta accompanied by a green salad and crusty bread.
Ragu Bolognese (serves 4)
3 Tbs butter
4 Tbs olive oil
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
1 stalk celery, diced
1 cup dry white wine
1/2 can tomato paste (8 oz)
1 cup half-and-half
1/4 lb pancetta (or bacon if you must), ground**
1 lb ground veal (find it at Butcher Block 9 in Anchorage)
1 lb ground pork (same place)
Salt and pepper to taste
Parmesan cheese to top the dish
Heat butter and olive oil in 8-quart saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, garlic, and celery, and saute' until translucent. Add pork, veal, and pancetta or bacon, and turn heat to high. Heat until meat is browned, stirring only so that the meat is broken up.
Add the half-and-half, tomato paste, and wine. Simmer 1 to 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Season with salt and pepper, then remove from heat.
Serve over your favorite pasta, and sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
** How do you grind bacon or pancetta? You ask your butcher, or give it a few pulses in a food processor. Dice the pancetta or bacon, put on a cookie sheet and freeze for about 30 minutes until firm. Place in the food processor and grind.