We always are on the lookout for good restaurants, especially those little ones in out of the ay places with really good food. When we lived in Florida we found many like that, but one of our favorites was this small Italian place tucked into a strip mall behind a grocery store. (It was off of Waters and Dale Mabry in Tampa, if that helps anyone with a local map). The people running the place were very welcoming, professional, and friendly. They spoke with a heavy accent, and I am pretty sure the lady that ran the kitchen didn’t speak much English. It had the feel of authentic food, and everything we tried there was delicious.
The best, of course, was their Spaghetti alla Bolognese. Rich with flavor, full of vegetables, and obviously slow cooked over a several hours, it was incredible. I couldn’t get enough of it.
Then we moved across the country.
I have tried several recipes for Spaghetti alla Bolognese. And they were good, but not as good as that place in Tampa. And then my friend offered his wife’s recipe to me. I knew it was authentic Italian, since he and his wife are authentic Italian. In Italy. So I made her sauce. And it is AWESOME. In fact, it is better than the one in Tampa (although if I find myself in Tampa, I will still go back to that restaurant). It is one of my more cherished recipes. And now I have permission to share it with the world.
I’ve included the original in Italian at the end of the port, plus it’s Google translated version. My version here trades out the wine. Feel free to use the original, as it’s even better!
Also, I usually triple the recipe, as my kids eat a lot, and for this, I like leftovers.
Start by chipping all your vegetables.
Once the sauce has reduced enough to be sauce, add the cream (or milk).
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 1 sticks celery, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 3 Tablespoons butter
- 3½ ounce lean ground pork
- 3½ ounce lean ground beef
- 1¾ ounce pancetta
- ½ cup beef stock
- 1 Tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 9 ounce crushed tomatoes
- 1 cup vegetable stock
- 1 Tablespoon heavy cream (may replace with 2 Tablespoons milk)
- Saute onion, celery, and carrot in the butter until wilted, or onions are translucent.
- Add pork, beef, and pancetta. Cook for ten minutes.
- Add beef stock, and balsamic vinegar. Reduce slightly.
- Add crushed tomatoes, and half the vegetable stock. Cover, and reduce heat. Simmer for two hours, stirring occasionally, and gradually adding the other half of the vegetable stock.
- Once the sauce has reduced enough to be sauce, add the cream (or milk).
- Cook your pasta al dente and season generously.
Original ragout recipe:
Pulire e tritare grossolanamente una cipolla media, una costola di sedano e una carota e farle soffriggere in 50 G di burro.
Quando si sono appassite aggiungere la carne macinata ( 100 G di polpa di maiale, 100 G di polpa di vitello, 50 G di pancetta) e cuocere per 10 minuti.
Versare un bicchiere di vino rosso e farlo evaporare per metà; aggiungere 259 G di passata di pomodoro, sale, pepe e 1/2 bicchiere di brodo vegetale (fatto facendo bollire nell”acqua le verdure: carote, patate, sedano, etc. e poi togliere le verdure e usare il brodo).
Incoperchiare eabbassare la fiamma al minimo facendo cuocere almeno per 2 ore, aggiungendo man mano 1/2 tazza di brodo.
Quando il ragout si è ristretto abbastanza (a fine cottura) aggiungere due cucchiai di latte o un cucchiaio di panna.
Cuocere la pasta al dente e condire generosamente.
Translated to English
Clean and coarsely chop a medium onion, a stick of celery and a carrot and fry them in 50 g of butter.
When you are wilted add the minced meat (100 g of lean pork, 100 g of lean beef, 50 g of bacon(panchetta)) and cook for 10 minutes.
Pour a glass of red wine and let it evaporate to half; 259 G add tomato puree, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup vegetable broth (made by boiling in “water vegetables: carrots, potatoes, celery, etc.., and then remove the vegetables and use the broth).
Put the lid and reduce heat to low and cook for at least 2 hours, gradually adding 1/2 cup of broth.
When the ragout has shrunk enough (after cooking), add two tablespoons of milk or a spoonful of whipped cream.
Cook the pasta al dente and season generously.