Categories: Recipes

Ragú Pasta Sauce

by Paola Malpezzi-Price - Thursday, December 2, 2010 ragu-tagliatelle

Ragú is comfort food Italian style for the Malpezzi Price family. Simple ingredients combine to form a delicious sauce for your favorite pasta. The meat sauce is a Bolognese style meat sauce, preferably made with ground beef or a mixture of ground beef and pork, tomato sauce or paste and an initial base of finely chopped onion, carrot and celery. The only spices that my family ever used for this sauce were salt, pepper and at times basil.

A dinner mainstay (leftovers are even better!) to help get you through the winter.

Serves 4 people:

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • ½ finely chopped onion
  • 1 small diced carrot
  • half a stalk of diced celery
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (we have also substituted ground elk meet for the beef)
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • Small can of tomato paste or finely chopped tomatoes with juice. If you used chopped tomatoes you will want to have at least 8 oz, maybe a 15 oz can.
  • Salt, pepper and fresh or dried basil
  • Optional: 1 glass of red wine or milk or chicken broth (or beef broth)
  • Fettuccine or pasta of your choice

Cooking Instructions:

  • Sauté the onions over medium heat  in olive oil for 5 minutes, add the carrot and celery and sauté for another 10 minutes.
  • Add the meats and stir well;
  • Add salt, pepper, and basil.
  • Cook until the meat is browned and getting dry but not burnt.
  • (Optional: add wine or broth)
  • Stir in the tomatoes or paste and make sure tomatoes or paste is absorbed into the meat
  • Add the milk if you are adding milk and let the milk be absorbed. If it is dry, add just enough water just to cover the mixture and bring to a simmer for at least an hour and cover if the sauce starts getting to thick and too dry
  • Stir often.
  • Adjust salt and pepper.

The sauce should not be runny, but not too dry. It can be frozen or stored in the fridge. To re-heat warm it in a pan and add water if it is too dry.
Pour on hot pasta…

Buon appetito!

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Paola Malpezzi-Price - Paola Malpezzi-Price was co-founder of ExperiencePlus! Specialty Tours, and now advisor to Monica and Maria Elena as they run ExperiencePlus! Bicycle Tours. Paola retired in May 2014 from being the Chair of the Foreign Languages and Literature department and teaching French literature and culture, Italian literature and culture in translation and Women's Studies courses at Colorado State University. She has published two books: Lucrezia Marinella and the "Querelle des Femmes" in Seventeenth-Century Italy (2007) and Moderata Fonte - Women and Life in Sixteenth-century Venice (2003), both by Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

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