Recipe courtesy of Bologna Cucina Cooking School
Wherever you go in Italy, each region, city, or even kitchen will likely have its own ragù (meat sauce). Bologna’s might be the most famous—it’s spawned a million flavorless imitators—but that doesn’t mean the recipe doesn’t change from block to block or from one week to the next.
Listening to Italian nonnas and food snobs alike, you’d think you need to spend an entire day in the kitchen to come out with a traditional flavorful sauce. But this version keeps the ingredients and the cooking simple and comes together in about an hour—just enough time to make fresh pasta to go with it, if you want.
- Dice the vegetables into small cubes. Coat the bottom of a 12-inch pan with a thin layer of oil and heat it over medium heat.
- Once the oil is shimmering, add the vegetables and cook them for five to seven minutes, or until lightly browned. Add the meat to the saucepan and sear until browned, about 6 minutes, then deglaze the pan with wine.
- Add the tomato paste, salt, and pepper and cook for a few minutes to let tomato paste caramelize. Deglaze the pan with a little of the stock and cook over low heat for about 55 minutes. If the pan gets dry, add some more stock to it. Add the cream and stir until it's fully combined, then add the pasta and coat it with the sauce.
- Garnish with cheese and serve immediately.
Award-winning food and travel writer Naomi Tomky uses her unrelenting enthusiasm as an eater, photographer, and writer to propel herself around the world. Follow her on Twitter @Gastrognome and on Instagram @the_gastrognome