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As the nights draw in and winter closes in, you’ll want comforting food to keep you warm. And nothing is more comforting than Italian pasta Bolognese: rich, meaty and packed with flavor. If you’re not familiar with this classic Italian dish, it’s essentially a sauce made with tomatoes, onions, garlic and meat (most commonly pork) slow-cooked for hours until it reaches a rich and sticky consistency. You can use almost any type of meat when making ragu Bolognese – ground beef or veal are common variations – but it’s the ratio of onion to other ingredients that makes the biggest difference. Making a ragu Bolognese can take some time, but this simple recipe will have you chowing down on bowlfuls in no time.
Bolognese is the perfect dinner for a lazy Sunday night. It’s hearty, packed with flavor and incredibly simple to make. Just pop it in the oven and let it simmer away while you drink a glass of wine and put your feet up with a good book. It’s perfect for a winter’s evening when you’re feeling a little under the weather: a bowl of hot, rich ragu Bolognese will help you shake off those autumn blues. Bolognese is also the perfect dish to make when you have friends or family staying with you and don’t have time to cook a full meal. Just serve it with some toasted bread for dunking and a simple salad on the side and you’ve got a hearty and satisfying meal that will please everyone.
The key to a good ragu Bolognese is to use the right ingredients. You can play around with the spices later, but for a classic Bolognese, you’ll need the following:
Begin by slicing your onions and carrots, and then sauté them in a pan with olive oil until they are soft and translucent. Add the garlic and stir for another 30 seconds or so. Add the ground meat to the pan, breaking it up with a wooden spoon as you cook. You’ll want to cook the meat until it is no longer pink and has released its moisture. Add the tomatoes and red wine to the pan and bring the sauce to a boil before reducing the heat and letting it simmer for 2-3 hours. Add the herbs and season the sauce with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the sauce to a food processor and blend it until it reaches the desired consistency. Serve with your favorite type of pasta.