Bolognonese sauce-cream or no cream?

1,046
11
Joined Apr 19, 2001
Is there a last word on adding a little cream to a traditional bolognese sauce? I've checked several 'traditional' sources, and some use cream, some don't. I know Italian cuisine is really regional, with lots of differences between the regions, but - correct me if I'm wrong, please! - the sauce comes from the region of Bologna!

I personally like the addition of a little cream to finish the sauce, but I'd love to hear others' opinions.
 
4,508
32
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Everywhere you eat this sauce you will find a different variation.
I have always finished mine with a touch of milk
cc
 
1,635
158
Joined Aug 14, 2000
Marcella Hazan, in Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, uses milk but she uses it after the meat is browned before anything else is added. She browns the meat, adds the milke and cooks it "dry". Then she adds wine and reduces it and then the tomatoes.
 
4,508
32
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Kyle this is a very good point, I would imagine the lactic acids in the milk will help to tenderize the meats as they cook. So she uses it as a flavor and texture medium, where others use it at the end to soften the sauce
cc
 

nicko

Founder of Cheftalk.com
Staff member
4,314
351
Joined Oct 5, 2001
Wouldn't the milk also act as a sweetner to cut the acidity of the sauce as well?

You make a good point Cape, but doesn't the heat kill the Ph in the lactic acid?
 
4,508
32
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Nicko, I would have to look this up in regards to the ph in the acid being rendered useless do to the heat.
I wonder if Kyle has in his book an explaination by Hazan as to why she uses the milk in the first step.
cc
 

kuan

Moderator
Staff member
7,067
524
Joined Jun 11, 2001
There's not that much lactic acid in milk. If there is, it's on its way to becoming buttermilk and there's some bacterial growth. Nicko is right about the sweetness, probably caused by lactose, not lactic acid.

Kuan
 

nicko

Founder of Cheftalk.com
Staff member
4,314
351
Joined Oct 5, 2001
Thanks Cape, I am checking into it also.
 
1,635
158
Joined Aug 14, 2000
According to Senora Hazan -

"Cook the meat in milk before adding the wine and tomatoes to protect it from the acidic bite of the latter."
 
111
10
Joined Jan 12, 2001
ok...i don't have the last word on this, but i did live in bologna for a year.

basic ragu, as they call it in bologna, doesn't have any dairy in it, in my experience. they use it for a sauce all by itself, but they also use it for a jumping-off point.

when it's used in lasagna verde, they fold bechamel into the ragu before layering it. and at most restaurants you can get either tagliatelle alla ragu, or alla ragu con panna.

here's my (unofficial) recipe for ragu which i made quite a few times and served to some bolognese friends who gave it their seal of approval.

equal parts ground pancetta, pork, and veal. sautee with diced onion and carrot and whole garlic cloves until well cooked. add tomato paste (double concentrate from a tube) and cook a bit, then deglaze with red wine and add water and bay leaves. cook until desired texture, season.
 
4,508
32
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Hiya Eddie, Nice to see you around!!!

I think like said before us in this thread, every home offers a different dish to the table...but with similer traits.
It's like a bearnaise sauce...It seems that everyone has there own opinion of this sauce. Unfortunalty, most of them are terrible:D
cc
 
4,508
32
Joined Jul 31, 2000
Rachel, last year Eddie did an incredible journel of his time cooking through Italy, He would update us in great detail on his travels.
All should do a search for this journel..What a treat it was for us.
Oh yeh Eddie..answer the question!! did you like it?
 

isa

3,236
11
Joined Apr 4, 2000
I love Marcella's Bolognese sauce. It is to die for and the smell is so very enticing. :lips:
 
111
10
Joined Jan 12, 2001
hi capechef....good to see you too. i've been lurking around recently, but not posting all that much.

yes, i loved bologna. it's a great food town. i ate almost no italian food for a couple months after i got back, but now i've been starting to get back into it.

capechef, you're right, ragu is one of those things that varies slightly from household to household and each cook will tell you that their version is the "final word."

thanks for plugging my journal.
 
467
10
Joined Jan 11, 2002
Being a traditional recipe, the Ragù alla Bolognese isn't obviously a codified one and there are many versions. In any case:

-As far as I know, cream is never used in this recipe, and its use can be generally considered "not traditionally Italian".

-Milk can be added or not, depending on the cook's taste. I usually add it at the end, just before using the sauce, to make it smoother. In any case, it's not used to cut the acidity...we usually add
a pinch of sugar to the sauce for this purpose.

-My personal (PERSONAL!:) ) opinion about the American "Bolognese" sauce is that it often contains too much tomato. I don't care about milk or wine or pork or vegetables...Italians are very flexible on these points. But, an excess of tomato can make the recipe completely different from the original one!

Pongi
 
5
10
Joined Feb 3, 2002
As The Soup Simmers. . . .



This Bolognese recipe was one of three wishes granted to me, ShekharBhargava, by a Genie who appeared magically to me from within a brass lamp. ;)

Now, I - the magnanimous ShekharBhargava - will share this Best-In-The-World recipe for Bolognese!

Do try it. I insist. :)

Upon tasting ShekharBhargavaBolognese, you will immediately rip your recipe into little, tiny pieces of confetti! Yes, and you will spit on your recipe!! You will continue to spit on your recipe until you are as dry as the desert! You will stomp it into the dust, sweep up the remnants and burn what is left!!!

Please enjoy this excellent recipe, my new friends... :)





BOLOGNESE

Serves 6

2 tablespoons Butter
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
6 oz. Ground Pork
6 oz. Ground Beef
6 oz. Ground Veal
6 oz. Pancetta, cut into small dice
1 stalk of Celery, diced
1 Carrot, cut into small dice
1 Onion, cut into small dice
1/2 cup Red Wine
1 cup Chicken Stock
1 pound Tomatoes, peeled, seeded and diced
1/4 cup Heavy Cream
3 tablespoons roughly chopped Fresh Thyme
4 tablespoons Basil (cut chiffonade)
Salt and Pepper, to taste

In large saucepot, melt butter with oil. Add the ground meats. Cook thoroughly, then drain any fat left in the pot. Add the pancetta and cook. Add the celery, carrot and onion. Cook until soft. Add the wine and reduce by half. Add the chicken stock and tomatoes; bring to a simmer. When the liquid is reduced by half (this may take up to an hour), add the cream, herbs, salt and pepper. Continue to cook about 5 minutes more or until sauce has a creamy consistency. Serve over pasta.



Note: I have been requested to make this Bolognese using soy milk and substituting texturized vegetable protein for the meat... it is enough to make even a strong man like me gasp in horror! Yes, I have a very Westernized diet. ;)
 

Latest posts

Top Bottom