This recipe is quite basic in its techniques and ingredients, but when combined, these techniques and ingredients create intense flavor, so it's a perfect recipe for beginners and seasoned cooks alike. If you're new to cooking and sauce-making, you might learn a couple new terms as you read this recipe.

Let's start with the term "ragù". This is simply a meat-based sauce.

Many a ragù, such as this one, qualifies as a braise. I've written a recipe highlighting the technique of braising before, which you can read here. By definition, to braise means to sear or fry first, then simmer in liquid. Searing develops caramelization and flavor around the outside of the food, while simmering cooks it through and softens it, making it very tender.  

After searing and caramelizing the meat and aromatics, some of this caramelization sticks to the bottom of the pan, forming a fond. Fond is pure flavor that we want to incorporate into the rest of our sauce, rather than leaving it stuck to the bottom of the pan, so we deglaze it.

To deglaze means to add cool liquid to a hot cooking vessel in order to get the bits of flavor off the bottom of said cooking vessel and into the rest of the food. In this recipe wine acts as the deglazing liquid and canned crushed tomatoes and water act as the primary cooking liquids in which the ground meat simmers until it's soft and luscious and infused with all of the flavors created in the searing and deglazing steps of our recipe.

Though the sauce simmers slowly for 2 hours, the actual hands-on cook time, most of which happens at the beginning, is much less, so you won't feel like you've been cooking for hours. Plus, the deliciously rich flavors and luscious texture that these simple but improtant techniques create provide a worthwhile reward for your patience.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef, 80% or 85% lean.
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 Tb tomato paste
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper for seasoning
  • 2Tb Olive oil
  • 1 lb long flat pasta such as fettuccine, tagliatelle, or pappardelle
  • 2 large handfuls of parsley, chopped
  • Grated parmesan, for serving

Steps

  1. Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place ground beef in the pot in large hand-pressed pieces, season generously with salt and pepper, and let it cook undisturbed for 1-2 minutes before stirring in order to achieve some subtle browning and beefy flavor from the very start. Then break up the meat into very small crumbly pieces and stir frequently until cooked through. Strain the beef and discard the fat, but don't wipe down the pot. Leave beef in a bowl or collander and set it aside. Return pot to the heat.
  1. Add the olive oil and the onions to the pot, and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Sauté onions for about 5 minutes, or until they start to soften and darken slightly. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste to coat the onions and cook for 1-2 minutes until the tomato paste deepens in color to a dark red-brown and sticks to the bottom of the pot. Add the beef back to the pot along with the wine to deglaze, scrape the bottom of the pot with your spoon to help release the fond.
  1. Add the can of crushed tomatoes, then fill the can about 1/2 of the way with water, swirling it around to get all the extra tomato off the sides of the can, and add the water to the pot as well. Cover the sauce to bring it to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours partially covered, so steam can escape. Stir the sauce a few times over teh course of these 2 hours. Season with salt to taste at the end, after sauce has finished simmering and reducing, then stir in the chopped parsley.
  1. 10 minutes before your 2 hour timer sounds, heat a large pot of salted water over a high flame until boiling. The water should taste fairly salty, like the saltiness of soup, but not as salty as the ocean. Once boiling, drop the pasta into the water. When pasta is cooked to your desired doneness, turn off the heat, strain the pasta through a collander, and return pasta to the pot along with 2-3 ladles of sauce, stirring to coat. Place pasta into a large serving bowl and top with more sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan, crushed red pepper, and more parsley if you'd like.
Fettuccine al Ragù Molto Vinoso

Fettuccine al Ragù Molto Vinoso

Yield: 4
Author: Gianna Nebbia

Ingredients

  • 1 lb ground beef, 80% or 85% lean.
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 2 Tb tomato paste
  • 1 cup of red wine
  • 1 28oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper for seasoning
  • 2Tb Olive oil
  • 1 lb long flat pasta such as fettuccine, tagliatelle, or pappardelle
  • 2 large handfuls of parsley, chopped
  • Grated parmesan, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat a large dutch oven over medium-high heat. Place ground beef in the pot in large hand-pressed pieces, season generously with salt and pepper, and let it cook undisturbed for 1-2 minutes before stirring in order to achieve some subtle browning and beefy flavor from the very start. Then break up the meat into very small crumbly pieces and stir frequently until cooked through. Strain the beef and discard the fat, but don't wipe down the pot. Leave beef in a bowl or collander and set it aside. Return pot to the heat.
  2. Add the olive oil and the onions to the pot, and season with salt, pepper, and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Sauté onions for about 5 minutes, or until they start to soften and darken slightly. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute. Stir in tomato paste to coat the onions and cook for 1-2 minutes until the tomato paste deepens in color to a dark red-brown and sticks to the bottom of the pot. Add the beef back to the pot along with the wine to deglaze, scrape the bottom of the pot with your spoon to help release the fond.
  3. Add the can of crushed tomatoes, then fill the can about 1/2 of the way with water, swirling it around to get all the extra tomato off the sides of the can, and add the water to the pot as well. Cover the sauce to bring it to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours partially covered, so steam can escape. Stir the sauce a few times over teh course of these 2 hours. Season with salt to taste at the end, after sauce has finished simmering and reducing, then stir in the chopped parsley.
  4. 10 minutes before your 2 hour timer sounds, heat a large pot of salted water over a high flame until boiling. The water should taste fairly salty, like the saltiness of soup, but not as salty as the ocean. Once boiling, drop the pasta into the water. When pasta is cooked to your desired doneness, turn off the heat, strain the pasta through a collander, and return pasta to the pot along with 2-3 ladles of sauce, stirring to coat. Place pasta into a large serving bowl and top with more sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan, crushed red pepper, and more parsley if you'd like.
https://onthebias.nyc/ragu-molto-vinoso/
meat sauce, pasta
Italian
Created using The Recipes Generator