Do you put garlic in Bolognese sauce?

In this article, we will answer the following question: Do you put garlic in Bolognese sauce? We talk about the best ingredients for a delicious Bolognese sauce and tell you about the history and the secret of this original Italian sauce.

Do you put garlic in Bolognese sauce?

Garlic in the Bolognese sauce is one of the essential vegetables among the onion, celery, and carrot. The key is to chop them in brunoise, that is, into small cubes, and fry them for about 10 minutes in a good extra virgin olive oil, without rushing, because this recipe’s secret is slow cooking. We do tell you that originally the fat used to cook this recipe was bacon or lard, but we opted for healthier vegetable fat.

In the beginning, a specific piece of beef minced by knife into small cubes was used, called “cartella” –  located in the animal’s troop -, but over time, cuts with less fat and more popular were used -it was put, also, a little pancetta. Even though it is not the most orthodox, you can use minced pork, beef, or a mixture of both for your Bolognese sauce. 

You have to incorporate the meat, once you have the garlic and the other vegetables poached, and brown it until the red color disappears and it turns brown, without burning it, of course.

Wine is another of the essential ingredients in Bolognese sauce. The original recipe is made with dry white, you have to put it when you have the meat cooked and let it evaporate. With red wine, it is also delicious. Whichever one you choose, which is of good quality, will greatly influence the sauce’s final flavor.

Bolognese sauce is one of the most traditional sauces when combining with pasta, and one of the favorites to make lasagna or cannelloni.

The taste of garlic in the Bolognese sauce

Garlic, in its natural state, is slightly spicy and savory. But during the cooking process, it will lose its natural flavor.

When using garlic for the Bolognese sauce, don’t fry it too hard, don’t burn it! Burnt garlic has a very distinct, bitter, and unpleasant taste. To prevent the garlic from burning when cooked in a pan, always add it towards the end of the frying process.

Do not add too much or too often. While many of us enjoy its aroma and taste, garlic is often an ingredient too often used.

Some say that if you feel the taste in a recipe then it is too much, others do not agree with this, opinions, as well as tastes are divided, but still, garlic must be used wisely. Otherwise, if it is too much, it overwhelms the respective preparation, masking other flavors from the food.

Raw garlic in large doses can be toxic; cooked garlic is less dangerous. More than 3 pieces of garlic per day consumed frequently can cause diarrhea, gas, bloating, and fever.

What kind of tomato and spices are used for the Bolognese sauce?

The ideal tomato for Bolognese is one that is ripe and fresh, peeled and chopped, but it is still allowed to obtain a good result using concentrated tomato and crushed natural tomato from the pot – for a hurry, it is worth fried, but it is not the right thing to do. 

The recommendation would be to add them to the meat, season everything, and cook over low heat for a minimum of 45 minutes. Although if you leave it longer – some stretch it up to 90 minutes – the flavor and texture will be more concentrated – remember that what we are looking for is a thick meat sauce.

 If you see that you lose a lot of liquid, add a little water, broth, or milk and they will be consumed during cooking.

In principle, it only uses salt and pepper as seasonings, but some spices – for example, cumin – or aromatic herbs, such as oregano or basil, do not hurt. If you decide to put them on, do it near the end when you have 2-3 minutes left to finish your Bolognese sauce.

The secret of the Bolognese sauce

This sauce’s idea was born in the Emilia-Romagna region, specifically in Bologna, the cradle of the most delicious cuisine in the Alpine country. Its origin is lost in Ancient Rome, although it has undergone some variations as we know it today. 

When the Romans landed in Gallic lands, the French inherited the recipe and took it back to Italy, starting in the Middle Ages. Its original name is ‘ragú’, which comes from the French verb ‘ragôuter’ and means to whet the appetite.

It emerged as a stew prepared in noble houses but with time, it was also made in humble families, who used old beef cooked in milk and wine to soften its hardness and potency.

Its importance in the history of the cuisine of the neighboring country is such that in 1982, the Accademia Italiana Della Cucina deposited in the Chamber of Commerce Industria Artigianato e Agricoltura di Bologna the official recipe for ragù bolognese, to guarantee continuity and respect for the Bolognese gastronomic tradition in Italy and in the rest of the world.

The bottom line

In this article, we answered the following question: Do you put garlic in Bolognese sauce? We talked about the best ingredients for a delicious Bolognese sauce and told you about the history and the secret of this original Italian sauce.

Garlic in the Bolognese sauce is one of the essential vegetables, among the onion, celery, and carrot. But remember, don’t fry it too hard, don’t burn it! Burnt garlic has a very distinct, bitter, and unpleasant taste. To prevent the garlic from burning when cooked in a pan, always add it towards the end of the frying process.

Do you agree with us? We’d love to know what your opinion is, so do not hesitate to leave a comment!

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Hi, I am Charlotte, I love cooking and in my previous life, I was a chef. I bring some of my experience to the recipes on this hub and answer your food questions.

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