Tuscan Ragù

Ragù Toscano

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Makes enough for

    1 pound

    dried pasta

Appears in

This is a Tuscan-style meat sauce that I learned from a local resident of Montepulciano, a small town about an hour south of Florence. It differs from Bolognese meat sauce in that it’s made with red wine instead of white; no milk; olive oil and no butter; and both beef and pork. Its classic pairing is with pici, the thick handmade spaghetti typical of Tuscany, but it is also excellent with rigatoni, shells, or any short stubby pasta with a cavity for catching the sauce.

Preparation time: 25 minutes
Total time from start to finish: hours

Ingredients

  • ½ small yellow onion
  • 1 medium carrot
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small bunch flat-leaf Italian parsley
  • 8 ounces ground beef chuck
  • 8 ounces ground pork
  • cups canned whole peeled tomatoes with their juice
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup red wine

Method

  1. Peel and finely chop the onion. Peel the carrot and cut into ¼-inch dice to get ¼ cup. Put the onion and carrot in a heavy-bottomed sauce pot with the olive oil and place over medium-high heat. Sauté, stirring occasionally, until the onion and carrot begin to brown, about 10 minutes.
  2. While the vegetables are browning, finely chop the parsley leaves. When the onion and carrots are done, add the chopped parsley and sauté for another minute.
  3. Add both ground meats and break them up with a wooden spoon. Cook until the meat begins to brown a little.
  4. While the meat is cooking, coarsely chop the tomatoes.
  5. When the meat is lightly browned, season it with salt and pepper. Raise the heat to high and add the red wine. Let the wine boil until it is reduced by about half to evaporate the alcohol. Add the tomatoes, season them lightly with salt, and lower the heat so that the sauce simmers gently. Cook, uncovered, for 2 hours, stirring occasionally. If all the liquid evaporates before the cooking time is up, add a little water.

Note

The sauce will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or in the freezer for up to 2 months.

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