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Marcella Hazan's Ragu Bolognese

filth Dec 28, 2007 10:27 AM

I made the recipe to the exact specifications.

It was good but I found it a little too subtle in flavor for my liking and thought the other veg to tomato ratio was high.

I wouldn't make it again.

Has anyone else been dissapointed?

  1. JasmineG Dec 29, 2007 11:57 AM

    Something that I discovered on this board is that Marcella's Bolognese from Essentials is different from the original Bolognese that she published in Classics in that the proportion of other vegetables is much higher in Essentials. Since that was one of your criticisms, you might want to try to reduce the proportions (I think that it was no more than 2 T of the carrots, onions and celery, though you could look around to prove this) and try to see if it's more to your liking.

    1. yayadave Dec 29, 2007 08:55 AM

      Gee, doesn't this post fit right in here?

      1. jfood Dec 29, 2007 05:18 AM

        Always have your own opinions. And if you do not like Hazan's, try to figure out what you liked and what you did not like. Then search other recipes and try to find the Bolognese that matches your desires. That's what is great about cooking.

        For jfood, Hazan was a huge disappointment the first time since he was expecting something different and as he was stirring after hours of work he just kept asking himself "when does it start to look like bolognese?" You know the answer. Now he absolutely loves it and he is never without a couple of portions inthe freezer for a quick fix. But there are other meat-sauces he also makes and loves in it's time and place.

        So be true to yourself, if you want to try again go for it now that you know the result is different from your expectations, and if not read other recipes and try theirs. On these boards jfood would guess there is an 80% approval on Hazan's, so you are not alone as you can see from the links MMRuth posted.

        If you find one you really like please pass along the link or the recipe. Many of us are always looking for great ways to make great dishes.

        Happy New Year

        1 Reply
        1. re: jfood
          emilief Dec 29, 2007 11:31 AM

          I have never made Hazan;s but I make the recipe from Dean and Deluca cookbook, which has carrots and chicken livers in it and it is outstanding. It is very meaty, not at all saucey, but wonderful in flavor.

        2. MMRuth Dec 29, 2007 02:57 AM

          I love it, but there have certainly been others that feel the same way as you do about it:


          1. t
            tinarina Dec 28, 2007 12:38 PM

            I generally am a huge Marcella fan, but I found her Bolognese recipe disappointing. I therefore looked at a ton of recipes, and there is a great deal of variation (even among authentic recipes from other Italian cooks/chefs).

            Marcella's recipe calls for all beef, if think, but I've found it's definitely better with half beef/half pork. I'm sure a little veal would be nice as well.

            The last time I made Bolognese, I largely used Mark Bittman's recipe and thought it was much better than Marcella's (heresy, I know!). I think I also added some beef stock, which other recipes call for. And definitely start off with browning in butter AND oil.

            1. coll Dec 28, 2007 12:26 PM

              I had some excellent Bolognese in a restaurant that my dining companion guessed they used filet mignon, he said that style was very popular in Italy, The chef confirmed it.

              1. BobB Dec 28, 2007 10:45 AM

                Nope. It sounds like you just aren't crazy about this particular dish, or expect it to resemble the Americanized "bolognese-style" red sauce typically found in Italian restaurants in the US.

                It is not supposed to be a tomato-based sauce, and Marcella's version is the closest I've ever made to the real thing that I've had in Italy.

                It's just a matter of taste, really. Some people (like me) love the stuff, you don't. No loss, just move on to something else.

                As the ancient Italians used to say, "De gustibus non disputandum est" (roughly, "There's no point in arguing about matters of taste").

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