Italian Regional Recipes Primi Piatti: Pasta, Rice, Soups

Bolognese Ragù

Bolognese Ragù in Italian or Ragout, it’s a traditional minced beef and pork meat sauce with the addition of Pancetta, cooked slowly over low heat at least for 3 hours in tomato sauce. Perfect to pair with tagliatelle, gnocchi, lasagna, as well as with eggs or on its own just by dipping a slice of bread in it.

Each Italian family has its own recipe with some variations of Bolognese Ragù, however the main ingredients will never change and nobody would ever put cream in it. Simple whole milk will do the trick to give a smooth sauce.

The traditional recipe for the bolognese Ragù, which you will find below, has been filed at the Chamber of Commerce of Bologna on the 17th October, 1982.

Serves: 4 | Preparation time: 30 mins | Cooking time: 3 to 4 hours

  • Minced beef: 250 g
  • Minced pork: 150 g
  • Unsmoked Pancetta (Pork belly) : 100 g
  • Carrots: 1
  • Celery: 1 stalk
  • Onions: 1
  • Meat broth: 250 ml
  • Tomato Sauce: 500 ml
  • Tomato Paste: 2 tablespoons
  • White or Red wine, a glass – we recommend a full-bodied red wine
  • Milk, whole: a glass
  • Extra virgin olive oil (EVOO): 2 tbsp
  • Unsalted butter: 20 g
  • Salt and pepper: to taste


Tip: Traditionally the Bolognese Ragù is prepared by using a earthenware pot, called ‘terracotta’ or ‘coccio’ or ‘Pignatta’ in Italian, great for slow cooking preparations like Minestrone, legumes, stew and meat sauces like Bolognese Sauce since earthenware heats up extremely slowly, and releases the heat to its contents just as slowly.

Start making soffritto: finely chop the carrot, celery and onion, dice pancetta, set aside.

Heat up 2 tbsp of Evoo and butter in a pot, add soffritto, stir-fry for about 10 mins on a low flame – they have to sauteeing gently, however stirring them constantly to make sure they don’t burn. Add pancetta and cook for a further 5 minutes until crisp.

Add both beef and pork minced meat and cook at medium-high flame for about 10 mins or until the meat has dried out and with a brown colour. Not too much or it will be dry.

Turn up the heat, pour in the wine and leave it to simmer over high heat until the wine has completely evaporated.

Tip: Make sure to turn up the heat otherwise the wine will take too long to evaporate and its taste will overpower the meat.

Reduce the heat, add the tomato sauce along with tomato paste, stirring with a wooden spoon to amalgamate. Cover partially with a lid, stirring from time to time and after about half an hour while the sauce is still cooking, pour in the glass of milk, keep cooking for 3 hours or even 4. Seasoning at the end of cooking with salt and black pepper to taste.

You can prepare this ragout in advance and then warm it up when needed. Keep it in the fridge for max 3 days, covered with clingfilm.

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    1. Glad to hear this! As soon as our new session about the versions of our followers will be on-line, please feel free to share yours, we are very curious to see it!

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