I can recall nowhere in Italy, from the Veneto to Sicily, from Lazio to Puglia, where they serve what the English call "Spaghetti Bolognese". And by English spag bol, I mean a sauce made from copious amounts of tomatoes boiled with beef mince and a selection of herbs.
The concoction in most recipe books contains just too many tomatoes.
The best recipe for ragù alla bolognese , I nicked from the Sunday Times "Taste of Italy" supplement some years ago. The aroma of the complete sauce is wafting up the stairs as I write this. I've doubled up the ingredients. The sauce freezes well and can be used to fill cannelloni or the base sauce for a lasagne al forno
Ragù alla bolognese
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 medium onions
2 medium carrots
2 sticks of celery
400g minced pork or beef
400g minced veal
400ml dry red wine
salt and pepper
8 tbsp tomato purée
small amounts of water/meat stock and cream.
The original Sunday Times recipe suggests the carrot, onion, celery and pancetta are " finely chopped". Chopping any vegetable "finely" is a skilled operation. It's must easier and the results are superior if you blitz all these ingredients in a Magimix. It is easier to use the mini mixer for the pancetta.
Heat the butter and oil in a deep pan and add the vegetables and fry them until they soften and are slightly brown. Because the vegetables are finely chopped this will take only a couple of minutes.
Add the pancetta and meat and fry until the meat changes colour. Add the wine and simmer until it evaporates fully. Add the seasoning, tomato purée and a little water/stock.
Cook slowly- and that's the trick-stirring occasionally adding more water/stock if necessary. Set the timer for 90 minutes.
And don't spoil this by using spaghetti! The sauce clings to tagliatelle much better. Add a small amount of cream and mix well, before adding to the pasta