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Ragu Bolognese

Yields12 ServingsPrep Time30 minsCook Time45 minsTotal Time1 hr 15 mins

This killer recipe is right out of the Foods of the World Time-Life series. And is spectacular as a base for Northern Italian Lasagna. Or reheated with a splash of coconut milk (or cream) over pasta or zoodles. Eat it up ... FOR REAL!

 ¼ lb smoked ham, coarsely chopped (I used organic turkey ham)
 1 cup coarsely chopped onions (I used fennel)
 ¼ cup coarsely chopped carrots
 ½ cup coarsely chopped celery
 4 tbsp butter (you need less in a nonstick pan, possibly 2 Tbsp.)
 2 tbsp olive oil (I used 1 Tbsp.)
 ¾ lb beef round, ground twice (I use 93/7 organic lean ground beef)
 ¼ lb lean pork, ground twice
 ½ cup dry white wine
 2 cups beef stock, fresh or packaged
 2 tbsp tomato paste
 ½ lb chicken livers
 pinch of ground nutmeg
 freshly ground black pepper

Combine the chopped ham, onions, carrots, and celery together on a cutting board and chop them together into very small pieces (alternately pulse a few times in a food processor). This mixture is called a battuto, which when cooked becomes a soffritto.


Melt the butter over moderate heat in a heavy, 10-to-12-inch skillet or large saute pan. When the foam subsides, add the battuto and cook, stirring frequently, for about 10 minutes, until it is lightly browned.


With a rubber spatula, transfer the soffritto to a heavy 3-to-4-quart saucepan (or I just remove it from the saute pan and set it aside). Heat the oil in the skillet or saute pan and lightly brown the beef and pork over moderate heat, stirring to break up any lumps.


Then pour in the wine, increase the heat, and boil briskly, still stirring constantly, until almost all of the liquid is cooked away.


Add the meat to the soffritto in the saucepan (or add the soffritto back to the saute pan) and stir in the stock and the tomato paste. Bring to a boil over high heat, the reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.


Meanwhile, over high heat, melt some butter in the skillet (or use a small skillet) and, when the foam subsides, add the chicken livers. Cook them for 3 or 4 minutes, or until they are firm and lightly browned.


Chop the chicken livers into small dice and then add to the sauce 10 minutes before it is done. Cool.


Use as a base for my Northern Italian Lasagna or reheat with some coconut milk (or heavy cream) for a pasta or spiralized vegetable sauce.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1/2 cup

Servings 12