Anna Nanni's Ragu alla Bolognese


Adapted from the pages of Saveur magazine, Issue 110 (February 2008) (link to original recipe)



1 (28-oz.) can whole peeled tomatoes (with juice)
1⁄4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
2 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 rib celery, finely chopped
1/2 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
1/2 medium carrot, finely chopped
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 lb. ground Chapel Hill Farm Randall Lineback - MUST be properly thawed, see under INFO, at top of page
4 oz. pancetta (optional), finely chopped (PRO TIP: put the pancetta in the freezer—it will make the chopping much easier)
1⁄2 cup dry red wine
2 tbsp. tomato paste
Tagliatelle or other pasta of your choice


1) Put the tomatoes and their juice into a blender. Purée until smooth. Set aside.

2) Heat the oil and butter in a large heavy- bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the celery, onions, and carrots, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring frequently, until soft and lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Reduce heat to low and cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and caramelized, about 15 minutes more.

3) Add the ground meat and cook, stirring and breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat begins to turn brown, about 10 minutes.

4) Add the pancetta (optional) and continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until its fat has rendered, about 10 minutes more.

5) Increase the heat to medium, add the wine, and simmer, stirring constantly, until evaporated, about 5 minutes.

6) Add tomato paste and cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes.

7) Add reserved tomato purée, reduce heat to low, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is very thick, about 3 hours.

8) Season ragu with salt and pepper.

9) Toss with fresh tagliatelle or the pasta of your choice, or use in lasagna.

10) Serve with fresh grated parmigiano-reggiano.