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The real Ragù Bolognese by Chef Barbieri

by /// August 31, 2021
Estimated reading time: 2 minutes



If The New York Times Food gets wrong, the famous Chef Bruno Barbieri, born in Bologna, responds and reveals his personal recipe for a true mouth-watering Ragù Bolognese!

Original post in Italian by

There are two things you don’t want to mess with in Bologna: Bolognese Sauce and Tortellini. Thus, Chef Bruno Barbieri comes to answer to The New York Times which published the recipe of “White Bolognese”.

The list of ingredients used to prepare the White Bolognese Sauce is per se perplexing: there’s no tomato, but dried mushrooms and cream; there is vegetable sauté, but a little of pasta cooking liquid is held to soften the sauce.
White sauce is seldom used to cook in Italy. One such sauce is used to enhance the flavor of the Chianina Meat in Tuscany and Umbria, but neither mushrooms or cream are part of it. Nor it is sold as Bolognese Sauce. This is where Chef Barbieri comes to the rescue.

What the ingredients for a perfect Bolognese Sauce are?
“This is my personal recipe. I use 300 grams of lean beef, rough minced. Then 150 gr of pork bacon, 50 gr of yellow carrots, 50 gr of celery, 50 gr of onion, 50 gr of double-concentrated tomato paste, ½ cup of dry white wine, ½ cup of whole milk, a little of broth, olive oil or butter, salt & pepper. Finally, a bouquet garni: I’ll prepare it with sage, rosemary, thyme and bay leaf. In the recipe by The New York Times there are a few steps to do, not poetic, while Italian people know that a well done sauce needs care”.

The cooking time for Bolognese Sauce is at least two hours. The recipe by The New York Times comes barely to half an hour. What is the correct procedure?
“These are the steps to do, to avoid any mistakes and prepare a Bolognese Sauce as it should. Melt in a pan the bacon, first cut into cubes and then finely chopped. Combine 3 tablespoons of olive oil or 50 gr of butter and the finely chopped herbs and wither gently. Then join the ground meat and mix with a wooden spoon, making it brown until it “sizzles”. Slightly add salt and pepper, wet with wine and stir gently until it is completely evaporated. Combine the double-concentrated tomato paste and cook for a while. Cover the pan and let the sauce simmer slowly for about 2 hours, adding, when necessary, a bit of broth. Only towards the end, add the milk to soften the acidity of the tomato. Season with salt and pepper”.


Elisa Mazzini

Social Media Manager for @inEmiliaRomagna and full-time mom.

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