852057_10151302748647055_807608912_oAs part of this 30-day blog challenge that I am participating in, one of our challenges has been to have a guest writer post to your blog. A fellow blogger asked me to guest post on her blog, “A Toast to Me!” Since her blog is dedicated to wine and beer, I thought I would share a recipe that uses wine as an ingredient: Ragu Bolognese. For this dish, I opened up a 2006 The Brander Vineyard Santa Ynez Valley Sauvignon Blanc. But, any dry white wine is good. If you like red wines, you can you substitute the red for the white wine. The secret to this dish is the sauce. It should simmer for at least 1-1/2 to 2 hours. Take my advice and taste it before you start to simmer, that way you can add your seasonings to taste and the flavors can blend in. If you add it after, it won’t be as good. I also think the better the wine, the better the sauce. Another tip, while you may want to use other readily available pasta noodles, use the tagliatelle or another wide noodle. By the way, the Sauvignon Blanc pairs well with the ragu. It you’d like to read more about “A Toast to Me!” find it at http://atoasttome.com/about/. Enjoy!

5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons butter
3 cloves of garlic,
1 medium onion, diced
1 carrot, finely, diced
1 rib celery, finely diced
1 pound veal, ground
1 pound pork, ground
1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, ground
1/3 cup tomato paste
1 cup milk
1 cup dry white wine
2 bay leaves
1 tablespoon Italian seasonings
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 pound tagliatelle
Finely grated Parmesan (for serving)

In a large heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Add the onions, carrots and celery and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned. Add the veal, pork and pancetta and stir into the vegetables. Stir to keep the meat from sticking together until browned. Add the tomato paste, milk and wine. Add bay leaves and seasonings. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer over low heat for 1 1/2 to 2 hours. When sauce is ready, prepare the pasta as directed. Add to a saucepan the pasta and an appropriate amount of sauce. Toss the pasta so it is evenly coated by the ragu. Serve. Top with grated Parmesan.