All meat sauces are not created equal. While there’s nothing wrong with tossing some ground beef into your favorite tomato sauce, there happens to be a much better, more authentic way to prepare a meat sauce that will sort of take your breath away. Believe me– this is coming from the person who likes ground meat less than just about anybody I know. One caveat: It is a labor of love. Nothing particularly complicated– just time consuming. For this reason, I created this recipe to make a huge batch…perfect if you’re serving a large crowd, or so you can use half now and freeze the rest for later.
Bolognese sauce hails from Bologna, Italy- right near where we are currently living. Around here, it is often referred to simply as ragù, and is served with broad noodles such as pappardelle, fettuccine, or tagliatelle. Never with spaghetti. Spaghetti noodles are too thin for the chunky meat sauce to stick too. It’s all about geometry when it comes to pasta, but I’ll save those details for another post. Bolognese is not really a tomato sauce with meat. It is a meat sauce with tomato. In fact, the liquids in the recipe are equal parts whole milk (no substitutions–the whole milk provides the creaminess needed for this recipe, plus the lactic acid in the milk helps to tenderize the meat), white wine, and tomato juice. The result is a thick, rich, complex sauce that complements the meat perfectly without overpowering the main ingredient. By using equal parts ground beef, pork, and veal, the meats combine to result in an immensely tender and flavorful sauce that holds its own on pasta without the need for any Parmesan or added seasonings. Please try not to substitute all-beef in this recipe. I can tell you that I tried it and the results were much more oily, less tender, and lacking in flavor. Not at all worth the time involved.