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Images: James Harvey Kelly
Words: T.B.Riley

June 2019

The official bolognese recipe is held at the Palazzo della Mercanzia, the center for trading and business activities of Bologna since the late 14th century. This is the agreed-upon, authentic recipe; ceremoniously approved by the Accademia Italiana della Cucina and adhered to by chefs worldwide.

300 grams beef cartella (thin skirt)
150 grams fatty pancetta, dried
50 grams carrot
50 grams celery stalk
50 grams onion
300 grams tomato sauce
1/2 cup fresh milk
1/2 cup white or red wine, dry and not frizzante
Olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste.

Cut the pancetta and the vegetables into small cubes with a mezzaluna chopping knife. Melt the pancetta in a large (and preferably earthenware) pan. Add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the finely chopped vegetables and fry them gently. Add the minced meat and stir until sizzling. Add the wine and stir gently until the wine is completely evaporated. Add the tomato sauce and leave to simmer, covered, for about 2 hours, adding some broth when necessary. Gradually add the milk to soften the acidity of the tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
Optional: Once finished, add the cream from the fresh milk to glaze.

To drink: 
- The 2016 Grattamacco Bolgheri Rosso is a great value, high end Tuscan wine. It’s beautiful and vibrant, with great intensity and complexity, and the high acidity cuts through the fats in this meaty sauce.
- Castellare di Castellina Chianti Classico Riserva DOCG: This is a pretty exceptional value reserva chianti. It’s a more earthy and robust option.
- Elena Fucci 2015 Titolo (Aglianico del Vulture) is an exceptional example of the grape Aglianico form Campania. This is a top end option - ripe, perfumed and stony.

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