We are searching data for your request:
Upon completion, a link will appear to access the found materials.
- Meat and poultry
- Beef mince
Prosciutto gives a distinctive flavour to this easy Bolognese sauce. Serve with your favourite pasta.
47 people made this
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 500g (1 1/4 lb) lean beef mince
- 100g (4 oz) prosciutto, chopped
- 50g (2 oz) butter
- 2 plum tomatoes, chopped
- 4 tablespoons tomato purée
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:1hr30min ›Ready in:1hr40min
- In a large saucepan, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil. Add mince and continue cooking. Stir in prosciutto and cook for 5 to 6 minutes. Add 1/2 of the butter, chopped tomatoes and tomato purée. Let sauce simmer for 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
- Simmer for one hour. Add remaining butter and simmer for an additional half hour.
Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(34)
Reviews in English (27)
Used different ingredients.I used tinned chopped tomatoes in place of the tomatoes,quite simply because i think that the tinned ones enhance the sauce!-29 Mar 2010
This was lovely,a nice change from your ordinary run of the mill bolognese!The prosciutto added lovely flavour to it!I only let it simmer for 40 mins,i don't think that it has to simmer for 1 hr 50 mins at the risk of it becoming too dry!-29 Mar 2010
Altered ingredient amounts.Easy and tasty, will make again!! I used 3 tomatoes instead of two, otherwise followed exactly! The whole family loved it.-21 Jul 2008
Bolognese Meat Sauce
The authentic Bolognese sauce has become a sort of Holy Grail for Italian-food lovers, who comb Internet boards and English-language cookbooks for the "authentic" version. But often what they find is something no self-respecting Bolognese would recognize. Tomatoes? Never! (A little tomato paste for color doesn't count.) Garlic? Never ever! "Bolognese" is not a synonym for "meat sauce" but a specific meat sauce from a particular place where garlic and tomatoes are not part of the tradition. Nor is spaghetti.
The Bolognesi, says Oretta, who is one herself, are very traditionalist in the kitchen and would appear to be no less fixated (her word) on the authenticity of their ragù than everybody else. They have gone so far as to register with a notary the "true and authentic" recipe for ragù, which is the one we give here. They have also registered the filling of authentic tortellini and the dimensions of tagliatelle, so "fixated" does seem to be accurate.
Few dishes on earth are as satisfying as a good ragù, meaning the real thing, like this one. It's virtually all crumbled meat, dark and meat-colored with reddish highlights. You'll be tempted to eat it with a fork right out of the pot before it ever catches a whiff of the pasta.
This recipe yields about 4 cups (700 grams), the correct amount for Lasagne alla bolognese.
Pasta shapes: Need we mention that ragù is not served on spaghetti except to tourists? For that matter, in Bologna, traditionally spaghetti isn't served to anybody at all, much less with ragù. Rather, ragù is practically prescribed by law for Emilian egg tagliatelle and lasagne alla bolognese. It is also excellent with other types of egg pasta, such as pappardelle, fettuccine, homemade farfalle, or wide maltagliati, and on ravioli di ricotta e spinaci.
For the condimento:
2 ounces (60 grams) pancetta
3 tablespoons (40 grams) unsalted butter
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, preferably lightly fruity
5 ounces (150 grams) ground pork
5 ounces (150 grams) ground beef (any lean cut)
3 1/2 ounces (100 grams) chicken livers, trimmed and coarsely chopped
2 1/2 ounces (70 grams) unsliced prosciutto di Parma, diced
1/2 cup (100 milliliters) dry red wine
1 level tablespoon (10 grams) tomato paste dissolved in 1 cup (200 milliliters) warm water
freshly ground black pepper
1/2 cup (100 milliliters) whole milk
To make the dish:
1 pound (450 grams) fresh egg pasta
10 rounded tablespoons (100 grams) grated parmigiano-reggiano
Mince the pancetta, onion, carrot, and celery together (in the food processor if desired). Put the butter, oil, and pancetta mixture in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until the pancetta just begins to brown, about 5 or 6 minutes.
Add the ground meats, chicken livers, and prosciutto. Cook gently, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon, to brown everything evenly. Add the wine, turn up the heat, and let it evaporate, about 2 minutes. Add the dissolved tomato paste.
Simmer, covered, over low heat for about an hour and a half. At that point, the sauce should have a nice red color and have almost no liquid.
Add a level teaspoon of salt and a few grindings of pepper and cook slowly, covered, for another hour or so. Every so often, lift the lid and add a little of the milk until it is used up. Taste if you dare. You may want a second little spoonful, and then a third.
Make-ahead note: The process can be interrupted at this point and the sauce kept in the refrigerator for two or three days, tightly covered, or frozen. The sauce will certainly be tastier the second day.
Bring 5 quarts (5 liters) of water to a boil in an 8-quart (8-liter) pot over high heat. Add 3 tablespoons kosher salt, then add the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Fresh tagliatelle will cook in only a couple of minutes.
Warm a serving bowl or platter in a low oven. If the oven is not practical, warm the bowl just before use with hot water, even a ladleful of the pasta cooking water.
Drain and transfer the pasta to the heated serving bowl or platter. Sprinkle first with the grated cheese, then add the sauce and mix well. Serve immediately.
Wine suggestion: Sangiovese di Romagna from Fattoria Zerbina
From Sauces & Shapes: Pasta the Italian Way by Oretta Zanini De Vita and Maureen B. Fant, W.W. Norton & Company, 2013.
7 Answers 7
'Never to be cooked'… nope. Cook it if you need it cooked.
Saltimbocca alla Romana I'd think to be traditional enough to refute this easily. Jamie Oliver's recipe. There are a million others, but the main ingredients are veal, sage & prosciutto… cooked.
For those questioning Jamie Oliver's credentials on this - Wikipedia lists the same major ingredients - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saltimbocca
as does this one - in Italian too - https://www.tavolartegusto.it/ricetta/saltimbocca-alla-romana-ricetta-originale/
The problem with saying the word "traditionally" in regard to Italian cooking is that traditions vary wildly from region to region (and often village to village). The person you were talking to is either absolutely correct or not at all accurate (depending entirely on the scope of the word traditionally in their statement).
According to my Italian grandmother, if you're making any kind of sauce, use pancetta or guanciale (depending on its purpose in the recipe) for best results. Prosciutto is "what you use if you can't get the good stuff." I even remember her occasionally apologizing for using prosciutto because our local grocer didn't always have pancetta in stock.
That being said, I have compared family recipes with friends where theirs specifically calls for prosciutto where my recipe says to make something else if you can't get guanciale.
I believe I can explain where your friend's belief comes from.
There are three main traditional cured pork products used in Italian cuisine: prosciutto, pancetta, and guanciale. Of these, (certified) prosciutto is the most expensive, and also the only one that is usually eaten without further cooking. As such, most Italians would use pancetta or guanciale for recipes where the pork is going to be cooked, just as an American would use supermarket ham or bacon and not 2-year-aged Virginia Ham for a soup.
Prosciutto also has less fat than pancetta or guanciale, and many recipes that involve cooking cured pork are depending on the rendered pork fat to then cook other ingredients.
Confusing this for Americans, most of what gets sold as "prosciutto" here isn't actually DOC prosciutto, but is in fact some kind of cheaper local ham. Making it, ironically, better as a cooking ingredient.
So it's not that it's bad to cook prosciutto it's just expensive and sometimes inefficient.
Cooking with a high quality (and assumedly fairly expensive) prosciutto is like using fillet mignon for stew meat or sushi grade tuna for a fish stew. You are obliterating the great flavors and there's probably a much cheaper and better thing to use instead. Of course there are always exceptions and never say never but it's a good general rule.
What do you mean by traditional? The current de facto standard? What is the standard -- and whose standard? Is "traditional" what your grandparents were used to? What was in the cookbooks 50, 100, or 200 years ago?
Most of the time, I find that the word "traditional" is just gatekeeping. What they're really saying is "I don't like the way you did that, and I want to be right without a debate" or worse yet, "You're not one of us." It's bad form and people who do that should stop. It's fine to be interested in historical methods and preparations, such as what The Townsends does with 18th Century American (and British) cooking and what Glen and Friends Cooking does with old Canadian and US cookbooks, but that history should never be used to limit another cook's approach.
Prosciutto is just an ingredient. It should be used as you see fit and experimented with. People have always experimented with flavors and made replacements when their usual ingredient was scarce. That's how we get new foods! I love a nice bit of freshly sliced thin prosciutto, but I've also had it fried up crispy to complement a dish.
Now, for a Bolognese or "Sunday gravy", I'd probably reach for pancetta, guanciale, or even bacon, but that's mostly because I want the fat and the subtle flavors of prosciutto probably wouldn't stand up unless I used a lot of it. But for a lighter sauce made in a pan where I wanted a bit of cured pork, frying some chopped up prosciutto could be really nice. But then, is the prosciutto really part of the sauce? Are the capers and olives really part of the sauce of pasta alla puttanesca? Does it matter?
You can cook anything you want, but prosciutto (and Spanish jamón) are not their best when cooked.
The first reason is that they tend to be expensive, and they can be better enjoyed raw.
The second reason is that when you cook them, they don't become crispy like bacon, but hard and rubbery, and they become too salty as well.
I think the more complete and critical answer is from @FuzzyChef.
I think it captures the essence of the problem.
Some more details should be added regarding what's the situation here in Italy. Disclaimer: I'm an Italian living in Italy and I like good cousine, but I'm not nearly a professional nor a gourmet*.
What you call "prosciutto" in USA here is called, more specifically, "prosciutto crudo", especially when one wants to make a difference between "prosciutto crudo" and "prosciutto cotto", which are fairly different products. Note that "cotto" means "cooked" in Italian, but, as I said, "prosciutto cotto" is not "prosciutto crudo" that has been cooked!
There is no single "DOC" prosciutto (crudo) in Italy. There are a couple of high valued, "DOC" types (very expensive): i.e. "prosciutto crudo di Parma" and "prosciutto crudo S. Daniele", which are somewhat similar products (to a non-gourmet).
But there are also a metric ton of quality types of "prosciutto" made outside the typical areas where "Parma" and "S.Daniele" are produced. The biggest difference is an higher percentage of salt employed during the seasoning. Often those kind of "prosciutto" are called "prosciutto crudo nostrano" ("nostrano" means "made in our area/region") and they cost less than "Parma" or "S.Daniele".
Prosciutto crudo is used in recipes where it ends up being cooked (e.g. Tortellini alla Bolognese, where it is used in the filling), but often you don't use the highly priced "Parma" or "S.Daniele" for that.
As for "pancetta" and "guanciale" they are lower price products here in Italy, because they are meant to be used for cooking, although you can definitely eat "pancetta" raw. It is a very fatty product and also very tasty, and a "panino con la pancetta" (sandwich with "pancetta") is very yummy (and a calorie bomb)!
Keep in mind that in Italy we have probably the most strict legislation against food fraud in the world. In particular, we have an entire branch of one of our national police forces (Carabinieri) who is devoted mainly to prevent and repress food frauds: they are the NAS (Nucleo Anti-Sofisticazioni).
This means that it is very difficult here to be sold "bad food", since an inspection from the NAS finding, say, a restaurant or a food shop selling expired food or (worse) bad food can cause the immediate closure of the business (until further investigations or trials), even if no-one of the customers felt sick!
All this to underline that what you eat in USA and it is sold as "pancetta" or "prosciutto" may not be what we in Italy exactly would expect. We have a huge problem of fake Italian products sold in every part of the world (even worse outside EU), especially where there are customers rich enough to pay a bonus for original Italian stuff (USA, Canada and Australia, for example).
Bottom line: if you buy traditional Italian food in the USA, be sure your shopkeeper sells you legit products, otherwise all bets are off whether or not the products are even remotely the same as the "traditional" ones.
I wanted the ultimate Bolognese. Six recipes later, I came up with the best ragu of them all.
Last year, my seasonal craving for ragu Bolognese — the famous long-simmered meat sauce from Italy’s Emilia-Romagna region — failed to move on once the weather warmed up. Instead, it mushroomed into an obsession.
You could blame the Great Confinement and an exaggerated need for comfort foods.
But I also blame Evan Funke, the Los Angeles chef renowned for his pasta. Three months before lockdown, my son and I spent a chilly Saturday tracking down ingredients for the Bolognese in his cookbook “American Sfoglino.” First, we purchased a meat-grinder, as required by the recipe. Then, we chased down unsliced mortadella, prosciutto and pancetta, along with strutto — pork fat. The next day we made the ragu — a process so involved we had to start in the morning for the sauce to be ready for dinner. We began by cutting beef chuck, pork shoulder and the cured meats into cubes, then muscling them through our dinky, hand-cranked grinder, followed by celery, carrots and onions.
Once we had everything chopped and ground and browned and simmering on the stove (for five to seven hours!) we rolled out and cut tagliatelle by hand — leaving the pasta machine in the cupboard, as Funke has evangelized.
That night, we sat with friends around the table to enjoy what we had wrought. The ragu was so spectacularly delicious — and so rich, no one could entertain the idea of seconds.
Before Extreme Bolognese weekend, when the ragu craving struck, I’d usually improvise one, or turn to Marcella Hazan’s famous version from “The Classic Italian Cookbook,” or one of Lidia Bastianich’s three iterations in “Lidia’s Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine.”
Now a burning (nay, simmering!) question gripped me: What is the very best Bolognese recipe of them all? I would cook my way around in search of an answer.
What defines ragu Bolognese? That depends on whether you rely on history (Pellegrino Artusi’s 1891 recipe), consult the Accademia Italiana della Cucina’s official 1982 recipe, or go by what Bologna’s famous cooking schools teach students — including Funke, who learned his ragu from Alessandra Spisni, maestra of La Vecchia Scuola Bolognese.
What the three definitions have in common is that ragu Bolognese is a simmered sauce made with ground meat, plus carrots, onion and celery (collectively known as soffritto) browned in fat, and usually broth or stock. Tomatoes were not originally included. In terms of meats, Artusi called for veal and a little pancetta, while the Accademia calls for beef and pancetta. Artusi did not specify a cooking time, but very long simmering is a requirement: The Accademia called for two hours after the meat browns many other recipes call for three hours or more.
These days, most respected versions call for ground beef and often pork, plus pancetta. All begin with some combination of olive oil, butter and/or pancetta or other pork fat. All call for soffritto and tomato, and two or three of the following: wine, stock and milk.
If you’re feeling Chinese takeout, these peanut noodles with veggies would be the perfect option. The secret to these easy asian noodles is a bag of pre-bought coleslaw mix. Yup, that’s right. My favorite part of lo mein noodles from Panda Express are all those sweet carrots and tender cabbage leaves, which was the inspiration behind this.
Toss cooked spaghetti or Asian noodles with sautéed coleslaw mix, plenty of hoisin sauce, peanut butter, and water. Serve with frozen egg rolls, and takeout night is done.
- 1/4 Pound proscuitto, diced
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 2 celery ribs, diced
- 1 Pound ground beef
- 1 Pound ground pork
- 1 Pound ground veal
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 28-ounce can crushed San Marzano Italian Tomatoes
- 1 1/2 Pound cooked pasta, such as tagliatelle or rigatoni, reserve some cooking liquid
- 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
- Salt and pepper, to taste
- Shaved Parmesan cheese
In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook the diced prosciutto until crispy. Add the garlic clove, white onion, carrot, and celery, and cook for a couple of minutes. Then add the beef, pork, and veal and cook thoroughly, making sure it’s all well mixed. Add the bay leaf and cook ingredients together for fifteen minutes, stirring frequently. Next, add in the tomatoes and reduce heat to low, bringing the mixture to a simmer. Cook for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
Add a few ounces of the pasta water and the butter to the tomato sauce and season with salt and pepper. Mix a small amount of the Bolognese sauce into the cooked pasta, then top with the remaining sauce and the Parmesan cheese. Serve right away!
- 1 Pound russet potatoes, peeled
- 1 large egg
- 1 Cup sifted flour
- 3/4 Cups grated Parmesan cheese, plus more to taste
- 1 large white onion, diced
- 1 carrot, diced
- 1 stalk celery, diced
- 1 1/2 Pound pasta
- 1/4 Pound diced prosciutto
- 1 Pound ground beef
- 1 Pound ground pork
- 1 Pound ground veal
- One 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, hand crushed
- 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 scallions, chopped
- 3 basil leaves, chopped
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Boil the potatoes until tender. While still hot, put them through a ricer, set aside, and let them cool thoroughly. On a board, form a mountain with the cool riced potatoes. Add the flour, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Make a hole in the top of the mountain and add the egg into the hole. Work the egg from the inside out. Mix the egg into the potatoes until well mixed. Cover with a slightly damp cloth and let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes. Roll the dough into long rolls about the diameter of a quarter and cut into ¾-inch pieces. Dust with flour and freeze until ready to cook.
Place gnocchi in a pot of boiling water and cook until they begin to float. Once the gnocchi float, remove from the water with a strainer or slotted spoon, place directly in desired sauce and serve immediately.
For the Bolognese, mix together the onion, carrot, and celery. Set aside. Drain the pasta well and set aside. In a large saucepan, cook the prosciutto until crispy. Add the beef, pork, and veal to the pan and cook through, making sure it is well mixed. Drain off the fat and add the garlic, bay leaf, and mirepoix (onion, celery, carrot mixture) to the meat. Cook for 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the tomatoes and simmer over low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Add cooked pasta with a small amount of the Bolognese sauce, then top with remaining sauce. Serve at once.
Easy Bolognese with prosciutto recipe - Recipes
More 10 ingredients or less
Cloud Bread Recipe: How to make that viral TikTok bread
You’re three ingredients away from picture perfect fluffy TikTok cloud bread!
A beginner’s guide to food photography
How to take great food photos with any camera, even your smartphone.
Waffled Donut Recipe
Friday is National Donut Day! I am a huge fan of donuts. So much so that the other day, while at the supermarket, I was overcome by a donut craving. I could have gone to a bakery or a donut shop.
Oh my. This looks SO GOOD. I love an authentic ragu! I always think it’s funny when people think i’m talking about the spaghetti sauce in a bottle when I talk about how much I love ragu. ) Thanks so much for sharing!
Very delicious, thanks for recipe :)
How necessary is the parmigiano rind?
if you don’t have it, you can skip it. it adds a robust saltiness but when we don’t have any hanging out in the fridge we skip it too.
This is an excellent 5 star!! Absolutely worth the time and wait! I have made it several times to rave reviews. To really up it a notch I added acid – a tomato and a dash of balsamic. I now also reduced the cheese and always use bone broth. But again 5 star as is too!! Thank you!
Leave a Reply Cancel reply
Did you make this recipe?
Share it on instagram and tag it #iamafoodblog. If you'd like to leave a rating without leaving a comment, you can do so by clicking the stars underneath the recipe name.
Thanks for reading as always!
-Steph & Mike
Hi, we're glad you're here!
i am a food blog is an award winning food blog that’s been around since 2010 featuring hundreds of easy, fun, and delicious modern Asian- and globally-inspired recipes that celebrate the joy of home cooking. Our tips and tricks will have you cooking like a pro in no time. Pull up a chair and stick around for awhile, let’s be friends and eat together!
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally and adding peas about 2 minutes before pasta is done, until al dente. Drain pasta and peas, reserving 1½ cups pasta cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, heat butter in a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot over medium until frothy. Tear prosciutto slices into bite-size pieces and add to pot along with sage. Cook, stirring occasionally, until prosciutto is golden brown and beginning to crisp, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let sit until pasta is done.
Add pasta, peas, 2 oz. Parmesan, and 1 cup reserved pasta cooking liquid to pot with prosciutto and return to medium heat. Cook, tossing vigorously and adding more pasta cooking liquid if needed, until saucy and pasta is coated, about 30 seconds. Taste and season with more salt if needed.
Divide pasta among bowls and top with more Parmesan.
How would you rate Tagliatelle With Prosciutto and Peas?
This was for 3 of us, I used 8 oz rotini, as a result did not need to add any of the pasta water. Only had around 12 sage leaves but would use at least 20 next time as the flavor was too faint but delicious. Added zest of 1 lemon at the end, and as others have mentioned, lots of black pepper. Easy and excellent!
I pretty much love any dish where I can incorporate prosciutto! Delicious pasta dish, simple and easy to make.
Who better than Evan to bring out the best of flavor with pasta. Simple ingredients that just make you want to keep eating more. Listen to Evan and you cant go wrong.
This pasta receipe is fantastic! The steps are easy to folllow and it is delicious. I made the full receipe for my husband and me for tonight and will enjoy the leftovers tomorrow. Thanks BA!
So good! One of the two pastas my pasta-hating fiancé admits to liking. Even better the next day.
Omg this was good and so quick and easy. It’s my new quick throw together dinner. Since I’m from New Mexico I added some red chili
This has to be said with a Boston accent. This recipe is a keepa.. I added the juice of half a lemon I did not use sage as I did not have any. I used about 4 leaves of fresh basil Easy and yummy and who needs to consider calories
Delicious - we added chopped asparagus and added them in the step with peas, cut the recipe in half for two - perfect portions. Good quality cheese is important, and lots of black pepper was a needed addition.
This recipe was soooo easy and sooo good. Re-reading it now, I realize that I forgot to slice the Proscuitto and just tore it into pieces and threw it into the butter. oh, well. Still great. This pasta is flavorful, comforting, and has a vegetable in it so it's healthy, right?
My wife and I found this recipe to be very disappointing and bland. After dinner, my wife made a separate cream sauce for the leftovers:). I would not recommend it..
This came out sooo good!! I halved the recipe but kept 16 sage leaves. YUM!
So good! I didn't have enough prosciutto on hand and had to use some bacon as well, which made it extra fatty, but it was still crazy delicious. I even foraged for the sage, because I'm on lock down and I. Will. Survive. I made fresh pasta which bright it to an 11.
Classic ragu bolognese
Active time: 2 hours | Total time: 5 hours
Inspired and informed by outstanding recipes by Lidia Bastianich, Domenica Marchetti and Thomas McNaughton, this is Leslie Brenner’s (who is the editor in chief of Cooks Without Borders) favourite way to make ragu alla bolognese.
Legions of nonnas and authors have opined that the essential element for Bologna’s signature sauce is time. This recipe takes about 4½ hours to cook – and that’s once you have everything prepped.
It’s important to finely chop the onion, carrot and celery for the soffritto. The diminutive size, aided by the long, slow cooking, will allow the vegetables to melt into the ragu. Equally important are the minced beef and pork, which should be the best quality you can get, and are browned together slowly for about an hour. A pot wide enough to have plenty of surface area for the slow browning is essential to success.
If you’re using the ragu to dress tagliatelle or other pasta, when the ragu is finished and you’re ready to serve, transfer the amount of sauce you need to a large saute pan, keeping it warm while the pasta cooks. When the pasta is nearly done, spoon a little of the pasta cooking water into the ragu and stir it in, then use tongs to transfer the tagliatelle into the sauce, toss gently and cook for another minute before serving.
Storage notes: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to two months.
113g pancetta, cut into 1¼cm cubes
6tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 medium yellow onion, very finely chopped (see headnote)
1 medium carrot, very finely chopped (see headnote)
1 large or 2 smaller celery stalks with tender leaves, if any, very finely chopped
450g beef mince (20 per cent fat, ideally grass-fed)
450g pork mince (ideally pasture-raised)
700ml good quality shop-bought chicken broth or homemade beef stock
235ml dry white wine, such as pinot grigio
225g tomato puree or tinned tomatoes and juices, passed through a food mill or pureed in a food processor or blender
Freshly ground black pepper
Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, for serving (optional)
In a mini food processor, combine the pancetta and garlic, pulse a few times to break up the pieces, then process until it becomes a smooth paste.
Scrape the paste into a large, wide casserole dish or other heavy-bottomed pot, along with two tablespoons of the butter. Melt them together over medium heat, spreading the paste around with a wooden spoon. Cook until the fat is mostly rendered, about four minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onion, carrot and celery – the soffritto – and cook slowly over medium-low heat, stirring frequently enough so the soffritto doesn’t brown – until the onion is soft, translucent and pale gold, which takes about 15 minutes.
Add the minced beef and pork to the pot, increase the heat to medium, and break up the meat with a wooden spoon as much as possible. Once the meat starts to faintly sizzle, reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the meat brown slowly, stirring occasionally and continuing to break up any remaining clumps, for about one hour, until evenly browned and burnished.
When the meat is nearly done browning, in a medium saucepan over high heat, heat the broth until simmering cover and keep hot over low heat until ready to use.
Increase the heat under the browned meat to medium-high and stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits or deposits on the bottom of the pan. Cook and stir until the wine is mostly soaked in and evaporated, about three minutes. Stir in the salt and nutmeg, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the milk, cooking and stirring until it is barely visible, for about three minutes.
Measure 470ml of the hot broth and dissolve the tomato paste in it. Stir the broth with paste into the meat sauce, then stir in the tomato puree (keep the unused broth handy in the pot in case you need to reheat it and add more to the sauce later). Partially cover the pot and let the sauce simmer slowly and gently, stirring occasionally, until it is thick and all the components begin to melt together, for about two hours.
Stir the sauce – if it is starting to look at all dry, reheat the remaining chicken broth, ladle in a little more, about 120ml, and stir. Continue to simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally and adding a little more hot broth or water as needed, until the vegetables have completely melted into the sauce, for about one hour.
Cut the remaining four tablespoons of butter into a few pieces and stir them into the sauce add about 20 grinds of freshly ground black pepper and stir that in, too. Taste, and season with more salt and/or pepper, if desired.
Nutrition (based on 12 servings) | Calories: 336 total fat: 25g saturated fat: 11g cholesterol: 77mg sodium: 593mg carbohydrates: 8g dietary fibre: 1g sugar: 4g protein: 16g.