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Slow ragu alla Bolognese
Valentina Harris’ recipe for a genuine Bolognese sauce, from her BBC TV series Italian Regional Cookery:

Enough to lightly dress 400g pasta


100 g pork loin, boned
100 g beef steak, boned
100 g, prosciutto crudo
100 g unsalted butter
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
50 g pancetta or bacon, finely chopped
1 heaped tablespoon tomato puree diluted with 1 glass hot water
sea salt and freshly milled black pepper
1 1/2 ladles hot broth or water
100 g chicken livers, washed, trimmed and finely chopped
6 tablespoons double or single cream
1 small truffle, cleaned and thinly sliced, optional

METHOD: Chop the meats together finely with a heavy knife. Melt half the butter and fry together the vegetables and pancetta or bacon for 5 to 6 minutes, stirring. Add the meats and stir together to seal all over. Add the diluted tomato puree. Season with the salt and pepper. Stir thoroughly, cover and leave to simmer very slowly for about 2 hours, or as long as 4 hours if possible. During this time never let it dry out but stir frequently and keep adding a little hot water or broth. After cooking for 2 to 4 hours, when all the meat is tender, add the cleaned chicken livers and simmer for 5 minutes. Then stir in all the cream, and the truffle if using. Leave to stand under required or use at once, but it does improve with standing and reheating.
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