“Have you ever had pasta with Bolognese sauce? I mean a real, honest-to-goodness Bolognese? Probably not. A true Bolognese is just different from a typical meat sauce for pasta: smoother, meatier, mellower and a lot richer than a typical ragu or sugo. A little goes a long way. There is a reason that the guardians of this sauce are so strict about what is and is not an authentic Bolognese.
This is a sauce with rules. It is built on a base of onion, carrot and celery. No garlic. Nor does it have lots of herbs in it. I love lots of herbs in a meat sauce, but that’s not a Bolognese. The sauce contains dairy products. Tomato, while present, is not the star of the sauce. Meat is. And to make a real Bolognese, it must cook a long, long time.
Every cook has a personal version. This is mine.
Don’t try to make this sauce on a weeknight. It takes a long time to come together, and the time spent slowly simmering really makes this sauce special. But fear not, it keeps in the fridge for up to 10 days, and freezes very well. I suppose you could even pressure-can it, although I never have. It is a perfect sauce to make on a weekend and eat after work all week.
Porcini mushrooms are my first choice here, but any dried mushroom will work; I know a lot of deer hunters also pick morels, so use them if you have them. One tip on getting the onion, carrot and celery minced well enough: Chop roughly, then buzz in a food processor. Don’t make a paste out of the vegetables, though.” —Hank Shaw