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Bolognese Sauce

The Real Bolognese Sauce

  • Author: Silvana
  • Total Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 4 people 1x


Do use garlic to make your bolognese sauce? Maybe you like to add some herbs and spices, such as oregano and nutmeg. Well, you will be surprised to know that the original recipe doesn’t use any of these! Read on to find out how the Ragu’ is really made in Bologna


Units Scale
  • 300 gr minced beef meat (20% fat)
  • 150 gr pancetta (unsmoked)
  • 50 gr celery
  • 50 gr carrots
  • 50 gr onions (pink or brown)
  • 300 gr peeled (plum) tomatoes (can)
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 200 ml milk (preferably full fat)
  • 200 ml vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp tomato concentrate
  • 2 tbsps creme fraiche ((optional))
  • 50 gr butter or olive oil
  • salt & pepper (to taste)


  1. Step 1 To prepare your bolognese sauce, start by finely chopping the pancetta. Put it in a large, thick-bottomed casserole – ideally cast iron, or the traditional earthenware casserole – and render it over slow heat for about ten minutes.
  2. Step 2 Meanwhile, finely chop the vegetables. Add the oil OR the butter to the casserole, and stir in the chopped vegetables. Cook on a low heat until they become soft and transparent (about ten minutes). Be careful that the onion doesn’t turn brown.
  3. Step 3 Add the minced meat, raise the heat to medium, and let it brown, stirring often. Pour in the wine, and keep stirring until it has completely evaporated.
  4. Step 4 Stir in the tomatoes (either pelati – peeled – OR passata. However, the use of pelati is recommended for ragù). Cover the casserole, and cook for about 2 hours. Add a ladleful of vegetable stock when the bolognese sauce starts to dry up.
  5. Step 5 About 15-20 minutes before taking your Bolognese sauce off the heat, add the milk and season to taste. When the ragù is ready, take it off the heat and stir in the creme fraiche, which is recommended if using the bolognese sauce with dried pasta. If using fresh pasta, the use of cream is facultative.


Best pasta shapes to use with this sauce are: tagliatelle, the traditional pasta served in Bologna. You could use pappardelle, if you like. Rigatoni , tortiglioni, garganelli, and other large stripy pasta also are a good match.

Bolognese sauce tastes better the day after! Heat it slowly on the hob until it starts bubbling, then let it bubble for 10-15 minutes, stirring often. You might want to add a little milk or vegetable stock to avoid the sauce to go too dry.

Store your Bolognese sauce in an airtight container in the freezer for up to 3 days. Alternatively, you can freeze it in weighted portions in freezer bags. Consume within 1 month.

  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours 30 minutes
  • Category: Main Course
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • Calories: 324
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