I have to omit that growing up I had no clue what Bolognese sauce was!
It makes sense since my family’s origin was from the Naples region. The main difference between Naples and Bologna's version is how the meats in the sauce are used as well as the amount of tomato in the sauce.
The Bolognese version uses very finely chopped or ground meat while our family’s version uses meats like Pork, Braciole made with flank steak Sausages and Meatballs. With the flavor marrying into the sauce and the meats served on the side.
In my sauce I replace white wine with a red wine, and use lard or olive oil, and lots of fresh basil leaves. It seemed weird to me to add milk or cream to a "gravy" only exposed to this later in my cooking career. With that said I never really had the opportunity to have a real Bolognese sauce!
In all the restaurants our family went to the menu would say Spaghetti alla Bolognese. I would get it and be hugely disappointed thinking that these guys don’t know how to cook, but that’s the way it is made most of the time in America not like we Naples style at home! In Bologna you will find that this is served with tagliatelle, a fresh egg pasta.
The Naples version would be mostly served with Spaghetti, Bucatini, and Ziti.
Bolognese sauce (print recipe)
Here is another version, let me know if you have a favorite!
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 ounces thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped
1 medium carrot, finely diced
1 medium onion, finely diced
1 celery rib, finely diced
1 pound coarsely ground beef chuck
1 pound coarsely ground pork
1/4 pound mortadella, cut into 1/4-inch dice (optional)
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 cup dry white wine
One 28-ounce can San Marzano Italian whole tomatoes, chopped, juices reserved
1 1/2 cups chicken or beef stock or low-sodium broth
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons chopped basil
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 pound tagliatelle
1/4 cup heavy cream
Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
In a medium thick bottomed sauce pan, melt the butter in the oil.
Add the garlic, Pancetta, carrot, onion and celery and cook over moderately low heat until the onion is golden, about 5 minutes.
Add the ground beef and pork and cook over moderate heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until no pink remains, about 8 minutes.
Stir in the Mortadella and tomato paste and cook for 2 minutes.
Add the wine and cook, stirring, until reduced by half, about 3 minutes.
Add the tomatoes with their juices, the stock, nutmeg and 1 tablespoon each of the parsley and basil and bring to a boil.
Season with salt and pepper and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, until very thick, about 1 1/2 hours. Keep warm.
In a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the tagliatelle until al dente. Drain and return it to the pot.
Stir the cream and the remaining 2 tablespoons of parsley and 1 tablespoon of basil into the meat sauce.
Season the sauce with salt and pepper, then add 2 cups to the tagliatelle and toss.
Transfer the tagliatelle to a large bowl, top with the remaining sauce and serve.