Ragù alla Bolognese

Ragù alla bolognese also known as bolognese sauce is a meat-based sauce originating from Bologna in the region of Emila-Romagna. In 1982 the Academia Italiana della Cucina officially registered the recipe with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce. The registered recipe states that Bolognese sauce must contain onions, celery, carrots, pancetta, ground beef, tomatoes, milk and white wine.


Serves: 8
Time taken: 30 minutes plus 2 hours simmering
Difficulty: Easy         


  • 2.2 lb Fresh tagliatelle

  • Parmigiano Reggiano

Ragu Sauce

  • 1 4/5 fl oz Extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 4/5 oz Butter

  • 1 Large onion or 2 medium, finely diced

  • 4 Small carrots or 2 large, finely diced

  • 2 Celery sticks, finely diced

  • 4.4 oz Unsmoked pancetta, finely diced

  • 1.1 lb Beef mince

  • 1.1 lb Pork mince

  • 8 3/4 fl oz White wine

  • 17 1/2 fl oz Whole milk

  • 17 1/2 oz Passata

  • 17 1/2 fl oz Beef stock

  • Sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper


  • The longer you can leave the bolognese to simmer the more concerated the flavours will be.


  1. In a large sauté pan over a medium heat, cook the pancetta for 4-5 minutes or until slightly crisp. Add butter and oil, once the butter has melted add onions, carrots and celery and sauté for a further 5-6 minutes or until soften.

  2. Turn up the heat and quickly add the beef and pork mince, season with salt and pepper. Now break up the mince using a wooden spoon and stir regularly letting the meat liquid evaporate. Once the mince has browned turn down the heat to medium.

  3. Next add the wine and with a wooden spoon deglaze the pan (scrape any brown bits stuck to the bottom of the pan). Once the wine has evaporated add milk, passata & beef stock. Bring to the boil and turn the heat to low and simmer gentlyfor at least 2 hours adding water if needed. Check and stir once every 15-30 minutes.

  4. When the Bolognese is nearly finished, taste and season with salt and pepper. Then cook the pasta in a pot of generously salted boiling water until al dente. Drain the pasta and stir into the Bolognese sauce.

  5. Serve fresh from the pan with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano.