makes about 6 cups

Like many long-simmered sauces, this one, perhaps the most delicious of all the Italian meat sauces, is more flavorful and balanced the following day.

2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 rib celery, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
2–3 thin slices prosciutto, finely chopped
2 chicken livers, finely chopped
¾ pound ground chuck
¾ pound ground pork
¼–½ whole nutmeg, finely grated
Salt and pepper
½ cup dry white wine
1 cup hot milk
One 28-ounce can tomato purée
1 cup chicken, veal, or beef stock


Heat the butter and oil together in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, just until soft and translucent, 3–5 minutes. Add the celery and carrots and cook until they begin to soften, about 3 minutes. Add the prosciutto and chicken livers and cook until the livers are pale pink, about 1 minute. Add the ground chuck and pork, season with nutmeg and salt and pepper, and cook, breaking up the meat with the back of the spoon, until there is still a little pink, about 5 minutes. Avoid frying or browning the meat.

Add the wine to the pot and cook until evaporated, 10–12 minutes. Add the milk, and cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until absorbed, about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, heat the tomato purée and stock in a medium saucepan until hot, then add it to the meat. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, 6–7 hours. Add water, if needed, to keep the ragù loose and saucy. Season it with salt and pepper.

[ you can find this recipe in Canal House Cooking Volume N° 7, La Dolce Vita ]