Ragu

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In Italian cuisine, a ragù (pronounced [raˈɡuː]) is a meat-based sauce, which is commonly served with pasta. The Italian gastronomic society l'Accademia Italiana Della Cucina has documented 14 ragùs.

The commonalities among the recipes are all meat-based and all are to be used as sauces for pasta. Typical Italian ragùs include ragù alla bolognese (Bolognese sauce), ragù alla napoletana (Neapolitan ragù), and ragù alla Barese (sometimes made with horse meat).

In the northern Italian regions, a ragù is typically a sauce of meat, often minced, chopped or ground, and cooked with sautéed vegetables in a liquid. The meats are varied and may include separately or in mixtures of beef, chicken, pork, duck, goose, lamb, mutton, veal, or game, as well as offal from any of the same. The liquids can be broth, stock, water, wine, milk, cream, or tomato, and often includes combinations of these. If tomatoes are included, they are typically limited in quantity relative to the meat. Characteristically, a ragù is a sauce of braised or stewed meat that may be flavoured with tomato, to distinguish it from a tomato sauce that is flavoured with the addition of meat.

In southern Italian regions, especially Campania, ragùs are often prepared from substantial quantities of large, whole cuts of beef and pork, and possibly regional sausages, cooked with vegetables and tomatoes. After a long braise (or simmer), the meats are then removed and may be served as a separate course without pasta. Examples of these styles of ragùs are the well-known ragù alla Napoletana (Neapolitan ragù) and carne a ragù.

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