Food Hunter's Guide to Cuisine: The Glorious Pasta of Italy; Ragu Alla Bolognese

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Glorious Pasta of Italy; Ragu Alla Bolognese

There’s a new pasta cookbook that’s got everyone buzzing. Domenica Marchetti’s, The Glorious Pasta of Italy, has been the talk of the food scene since being published in May.

What’s special about this book?

How about over 100 classic and modern pasta recipes. Or over 30 delectable photos. Or maybe it’s the step by step instructions on how to make fresh pasta. Or the tutorial of pasta shapes. Whatever the reason you’ll want to get your hands on a copy of this book.

My husband absolutely loves Bolognese sauce so of course that is the first recipe I tried from the Glorious Pasta book. Different from any other I’ve made before; this recipe includes Domenica’s mother’s secret ingredient Mortadella.  Along with the addition of both milk and cream this rich sauce is a treat for your taste buds. The entire family agreed it was probably one of the best Bolognese sauces we’ve had.

Here’s what you’ll need to make this delightful sauce:

Ragu Alla Bolognese
(adapted from Glorious Pasta of Italy)

3 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 large carrots, peeled & finely chopped
2 large ribs celery, finely chopped
1 large yellow onion, finely chopped
1 Tbsp minced parsley
1 Lb ground beef
1 Lb ground pork
1 Lb ground veal
1 cup dry white wine
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper
Pinch of fresh grated nutmeg
1 cup whole milk
1 can tomato paste
2 cups beef broth
1 cup heavy cream
4 oz thinly sliced mortadella, cut into julienne

Warm the olive oil and butter in a large Dutch oven or other heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. When the butter is melted and begins to sizzle, stir in the garlic, carrots, celery, onion and parsley. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté the vegetables for about 10 minutes, or until they are softened and golden. Add the beef, pork and veal and mix well, using a wooden spoon to break up the meats. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the meat turns a deep brown and is crumbly but still tender and not at all hard. This will take about an hour or slightly longer.

When the meat is ready, raise the heat to medium, stir in the sine, and mix for a few minutes, until the wine evaporates. Season with salt and pepper. Add the nutmeg and stir in the milk. Cook, stirring for 3 to 4 minutes, or until most of the milk has been absorbed. In a small bowl, dilute the tomato paste with a splash of the beef broth and add to the sauce. Mix well and add the remaining broth. Cover partially, reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer slowly for 2 hours or more, or until it is very thick and all of the vegetables have more or less melted into the sauce. Stir in the cream and the mortadella and cook at a gentle simmer until heated through.

**Recipe makes a large amount of sauce and can easily be cut in half  to dress one pound of pasta. **

I am very excited to share this delicious bolognese with Presto Pasta Nights which is being hosted this week by Kirsten of From Kirsten's Kitchen to Yours. Join us there on Friday for the round-up.


  1. There's nothing so delicious and comforting as pasta with a long-simmering ragu - and you have it nailed.

  2. Wow, this sounds great - I have never heard of Mortadella being used before.

  3. Thanks so much for shining a light on my pasta book! I'm glad you enjoyed my mom's Bolognese sauce. I love it, too! Cheers, D

  4. This looks like a perfect pasta dish! Your husband has good taste!

  5. this pasta looks amazing! Amazing and delicious and simple and perfect for me- did you do this just for me? LOL! So glad you visited me so I could find your blog too! I am your newest follower!

  6. I think the reason everyone's obsessed with it is how it gives you the feeling that making your own homemade pasta is easy. I have only tried twice, but the step by step instructions make me think of trying again. And if I run into another disaster of gummy pasta, then no one will know but me and my garbage disposal.

  7. I've heard good things about this book, and honestly. With a cover like that, you know it must be amazing! Glad to see that you showcased it with such a classic recipe! Looks amazing!

  8. That Bolognese looks like perfection! I have on of her other cookbooks, the soup one, but have yet to use it! And of course soup season is over so who knows when, haha :)

  9. Thanks so much for the shout-out. I am so glad you like my Bolognese sauce--my mother's actually! It's a favorite at our house, and not just for sentimental reasons.

    Victoria, you must open up that soup and stew book! It's organized seasonally and there are lots of good recipes for summer. In fact, summer is one of my favorite time for fresh, light soups because of all the wonderful vegetables that are in season. Enjoy!