Photo by Christopher Hirsheimer

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.

6 cups


    • 2 tablespoons butter
    • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 medium yellow onion, peeled and finely chopped
    • 2 small celery ribs, finely diced
    • 1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
    • 2 ounces prosciutto di Parma, finely chopped
    • ¾ pound ground beef chuck
    • ¾ pound ground pork
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • ½ whole nutmeg, finely grated
    • ½ cup dry white wine
    • 1 cup whole milk, hot
    • One 28-ounce can tomato purée
    • 1 cup chicken or beef stock


    1. Heat the butter and oil together in a heavy large pot over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring often with a wooden spoon, until the vegetables have softened and the onions are translucent, 5–10 minutes. Stir in the prosciutto. Add the ground chuck and pork, season to taste with salt and pepper,and cook, breaking up the clumpsof meat with the back of the spoon, until the meat is no longer pink, 5–10 minutes. Avoid frying or browning the meat.
    2. Season the meat with nutmeg. Add the wine to the pot and cook until evaporated, 10–12 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low. Add the milk and cook, stirring occasionally, until absorbed, about 20 minutes.
    3. Meanwhile, heat the tomato purée and stock together in a saucepan until hot, then add it to the meat. Reduce the heat to low and gently simmer, stirring occasionally, until the meat is tender, 5–7 hours. Add water if needed to keep the ragù loose and saucy. Season with salt and pepper.

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