Ragu Bolognese is a meat-based sauce that comes from Bologna, Italy. The first published recipe of ragu bolognese was in Pellegrino Artusi’s 1891 cookbook La scienza in cucina e l’arte di mangiare bane (The Science of Cooking and the Art of Eating Well). The recipe called for the meats and vegetables to be minced, cooked in butter until browned, and then cooked with broth. Ragu Bolognese is traditionally served with tagliatelle, a long pasta made of eggs and wheat flour.
Growing up I mainly associated the word ragu with the name on the jars of pasta sauce I saw at most grocery stores. I had no idea that it was a style of sauce. I had eaten it plenty of times because my dad liked to make it for us as kids, but he just called it “meat sauce” for pasta. It was not until I was older and started to study cooking myself that I understood I was eating Ragu Bolognese the whole time.
Ragu Bolognese Pasta Recipe
Prep Time 5 min Cook Time 38 min Bake Time 25 min
Wine Pairing Suggestion: Cabernet Sauvignon
7 ounces shaped pasta, farfalle or macaroni works well
3 tablespoons olive oil
5 ounces Italian sausage, casings removed
1 ounces carrots, shredded
3 stalks of celery, chopped
2 teaspoons garlic minced
1/4 cup red wine
1 cup tomato sauce
1/2 cup reserved pasta water
4 ounces mozzarella cheese
Boil the pasta 1 minute less than the package directions. (Pasta will cook more in the oven). Reserve 1/2 cup of pasta water for sauce.
Pour pasta into a 2 quart oven-proof casserole dish. Toss the pasta with 2 tablespoons of olive oil.
Add the rest of the olive oil to a pot. Heat the pot to medium heat and brown the sausage. Break up the sausage with a wooden spoon. After 3 minutes throw in the carrots and celery. Cook for 8 minutes.
Add garlic to the pot and stir for 30 seconds. Add the wine and boil for 1 minute. Pour in the tomato sauce and reserved pasta water. Simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Preheat oven to 375 F
Add ragu to pasta and mix together. Top the pasta with mozzarella.
Bake for 25 minutes.
Serve hot. Accompany dish with a salad and garlic knots.
Reserved pasta water gives your pasta sauce a glossy look and adds starch.
This sauce works wonderfully with fresh pasta.
DID YOU MAKE THIS DISH?
Tag @culinary_cupcake when you upload your photo on Instagram and hashtag #culinary_cupcake