Although this recipe may take some time, it is well worth it! It also freezes well to use in a pinch when you are running low on time. This version makes use of a slow cooker (crockpot). However, it can also be made in a stovetop pot. See the note for that scenario.
Traditionally this is served with a pasta like pappardelle or tagliatelle, but you may not have any on hand. So, use what you have. This version has a bit more tomato than the traditional version, for personal taste. And note that this is a loaded sauce. Just a little is enough for a portion. Traditionally it is watered down with the pasta water.
Italian Ragú (Bolognesa)
Gather your ingredients
Place the onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and mushrooms in a food processor. Chop until fine. You can also do this by hand, but this is quicker.
Brown the meats
In a hot pan brown the meats (seasoned with salt and pepper) in parts. After browning each part, add to the slow cooker.
Brown the veggies
In the same pan brown the vegetables. Afterwards place them also in the slow cooker.
Pour the wine in the pan and use a spatula to scrape all the flavor (fond), then add it to the slow cooker.
Aside from what is already in the slow cooker, add the tomato puré, tomato passata (blended tomatoes), thyme, bay leaves, and water (or broth). Cook until the meat is very tender, around 5-6 hours on low or 4-5 hours on high.
If there are still large pieces of pork, use 2 forks to shred. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Do not completely season since you will use a little pasta water (that is also salted) to water the ragú down. Also remember that if you are serving with parmesan, this will also add salt. When serving, taste salt level again.
Freeze leftover sauce for future use.