BIG TONI’S ITALIAN KITCHEN

Toni’s Bolognese Sauce

I’m going to start with a classic, a family dish you will cook, eat and enjoy for your whole life.

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Ragu is the meat sauce the Bolognese use to go with their homemade pasta.  A properly made ragu is one of the most gratifying meals you can ever serve a family. There are four things you must remember in order to make a glorious Bolognese sauce: 

1. The meat must be cooked just long enough to lose its raw colour. It must not brown or it will lose tenderness. 

2. I cook it in milk before I add the tomatoes. This keeps the meat soft and succulent. 

3. It must simmer for 3½ to 4 hours.

4. Add a half a teaspoon of sugar, this brings out the sweetness of the Italian tomatoes. 

The marriage of tagliatelle and ragu is made in heaven, but ragu is very good with fresh tortellini, and spaghetti. 

You also need it in lasagna, and it is the business with rigatoni.

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For 6 people you will need:

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  •     1 finely chopped onion
  •     3 glugs of olive oil
  •     40g butter
  •     3 sticks of chopped celery
  •     2 medium chopped carrots
  •     400g minced lean beef
  •     Sea Salt
  •     250ml dry white wine
  •     8 tablespoons milk
  •     ⅛ teaspoon nutmeg freshly grated
  •     400g tin of Italian tomatoes, roughly chopped, with their juice

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How to make:

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Use a heavy, cast-iron casserole or pan, the deeper the better.

It’s best to keep the liquid in the Ragu and stop it reducing quickly. 

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Put in the chopped onion, with all the oil and butter, and sauté until just transparent. Add the celery and carrot and cook gently for 4 to 5 minutes.

Add the mince, breaking it up. Add salt to taste; cook until the meat has lost its red colour.

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Add the wine, and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the wine has evaporated. Then add the milk and the nutmeg, and cook until the milk has evaporated, stirring regularly.

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When the milk has evaporated, add the tomatoes, when they have started to bubble, turn the heat down to a gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered, for a minimum of 3½ to 4 hours, stirring now and again. Check seasoning. 

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Bolognese sauce: can be kept in the fridge for 5 days, or frozen. If you are using fresh tomatoes, A good idea in summer or if you grow your own, peel and deseed them and cook in a little water for 10 to 15 minutes. Then pass through the finest blade of a mouli-legumes, or a sieve.

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Below Fresh pasta

Cirio peeled plum tomatoes are the result of a long tradition and passion for tomatoes. 

And well worth paying a bit more for. Grown on sun-drenched Italian vines, only the plumpest, ripest, juiciest tomatoes with just the right colour intensity, texture and depth of flavour are selected. We then pick and can on the same day to give a fresh, distinctive and authentic taste of Italy. You can get these great Tomatoes in any good supermarket or grocers.

Agostino Recca can ($1.65/oz.), though most praised the large size and remarkable tenderness of the fish. "Very firm, meaty like good canned tuna" seemed to be the consensus. Well, that and, "Wow, this is salty!"

Barilla knows this best as it has produced durum-wheat pasta for more than 100 years, taking utmost care of quality, as it always has done, selecting the best wheat available and carrying out all the production processes up to the final check in the most efficient way. You can find Barilla Pasta in all good grocers and supermarkets.