Italian ragù alla bolognese

    2 hours 30 min

    This is my recipe for a traditional Italian style ragù, rich and creamy. I strongly recommend people to enjoy it with fresh egg tagliatelle, rigatoni or gnocchi, the way we do in Emilia - Romagna. Please avoid spaghetti. :) You can extend the cooking time to three or four hours to make it richer, as good Italian grandmas do...


    2 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • olive oil, as needed for cooking
    • 1 stick celery, finely chopped
    • 1 carrot, finely chopped
    • 1 white onion, finely chopped
    • 250g minced beef, around 15 to 20% fat
    • 250g minced pork
    • 1 glass red wine
    • 250g tomato passata (or more, if you like it)
    • 1 spoonful tomato pureè (doppio concentrato)
    • 300ml beef stock
    • 1 glass water
    • salt, to taste
    • 1/2 glass full fat milk

    Prep:30min  ›  Cook:2hr  ›  Ready in:2hr30min 

    1. Pour some olive oil in a non-stick pan, together with the chopped celery, carrot and onion. Stir it on medium heat until just beginning to soften. Add the minced beef and minced pork. Stir the meat on high heat for ten minutes, chopping it with a wooden spoon, until it browns and is no longer pink. As soon as the water released by the meat is evaporated, pour in a glass of red wine and stir for a few minutes to cook off the alcohol.
    2. Add the tomato passata and the pureè - then add a ladle of beef stock, a glass of water, and turn the heat low. Cover the pan and leave the sauce to simmer slowly, stirring occasionally. The secret to make a good, soft ragù sauce is cooking it for a long time. Add a ladle of stock and a ladle of water from time to time, keeping the meat always wet, for at least 2 hours. Try the sauce often; if the meat is dry, add water. The more you will cook the ragù (3 to 4 hours if you have time) the tastier it will be.
    3. After 2 hours the meat should be soft and tasty. Add salt, and more tomato if you want, according to your taste. Finish your sauce with half a glass of whole milk, stirring until absorbed.


    Enjoy your ragù with fresh egg tagliatelle, as the way we do in Emilia - Romagna. You can also eat it with rigatoni, tortiglioni or fresh potato gnocchi. Please avoid spaghetti, it's definitely not the right kind of pasta for ragù. "Spaghetti bolognese" is a tourist trap, a dish that does not exist in Italy. Eat tagliatelle and you will taste the difference! :)

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    Thank you! It's very good.  -  08 Nov 2016

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