Bolognese Sauce Recipe | The Original Ragù alla Bolognese

bolognese sauceBolognese sauce (Ragù alla Bolognese) is a famous sauce of Emilia Romagna, made with ground beef and bacon.
Bolognese ragù can be cooked in different ways. All depends on the choice of the meat, that affects the cooking timing.
There is an official recipe for Bolognese sauce, filed October 17, 1982 by Italian Academy of Cuisine at the Chamber of Commerce of Bologna city; they suggest using a rather fatty cut of meat called “cartella”, located between the belly and the cow shoulder.
Nowadays, in order to decrease the fat content in Bolognese sauce, we usually use more lean meats. This way the cooking time is shortened considerably.

The perfect match with Bolognese sauce are definitely fresh egg noodles, but you can try this special sauce also with spaghetti, penne or rigatoni.

When serving spaghetti or fresh egg noodles with Bolognese sauce, bring to the table grated parmesan reggiano, so that your guests can sprinkle it over pasta to taste.

Bolognese Sauce Recipe

Prep Time: 15 Min
Cook Time: 2 Hr 20 Min 
Yelds: 6


  • 300 g (10 oz) of ground beef
  • 150 g (5 oz) of bacon
  • 50 g (1,70 oz) of carrot
  • 50 g (1,70 oz) of celery
  • 1/2 lt of meat broth
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil or or 50 g (1,7 oz) of butter
  • salt and pepper


bolognese sauce recipe

Chop the carrot, celery and onion in very tiny pieces. The more the better. In a saucepan cook the bacon, finely chopped, until his fat has melted. Add olive oil or butter and the chopped vegetables. Cook for 3 minutes over low heat (1). Add ground beef and mix with a wooden spoon (2). Cook for 5 minutes occasionally stirring (2).

bolognese sauce recipe

Raise a little the heat and add the wine (4). Original recipe wants dry white wine but I prefere red. Choose which one you prefer. Mix gently until it has completely evaporated. Add tomato passata (5). Cover and simmer slowly for about 2 hours by adding, when necessary, broth (6).

bolognese sauce recipe

Season with salt and pepper (7). Towards the end add the milk to dampen the acidity of the tomato. Bolognese Sauce will be ready when you can see an oily, creamy sauce on the surface, like the one in picture 8-9.

According to Bologna’s custom, when the sauce is ready, add 1/2 cup of heavy cream (optional), but only for dressing dry pasta. For fresh pasta or lasagna, its use is to be excluded.

Try Bolognese sauce with spaghetti, macaroni, noodles, tortellini or lasagna.

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Recipe Name
Bolognese Sauce Recipe. The Real Italian Ragù
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Bolognese Sauce Recipe. Ingredients Box

Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 2 hr
Yields: 4/6
  • 300g (10,5 oz) ground beef
  • 200g (7 oz) ground pork
  • 30g (1 oz) carrot
  • 30g (1 oz) celery
  • 30g (1 oz) onion
  • 700g (24,7 oz) tomato passata
  • ½ cup red wine
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt


I love all red things, reading novels, Milan football team, spaghetti and dark chocolate. I have wonderful memories of my grandmother who Involved me in the kitchen from a very early age. She was kind and patient and generous with her time. Some of my favorite childhood memories involve being in the kitchen with her while she was cooking Risotto alla Milanese or Polenta. And the bonus of it was that she always made me taste everything.

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