A traditional Ragù alla Bolognese recipe top shot photo

Ragù alla Bolognese

Ragù alla Bolognese aka bolognese sauce is one of my family favourite meals. It’s simple, hearty and delicious. 

Whilst in my teens I started working in kitchens. I quickly became fascinated on different types of food, their origins and the story behind them.

With bolognese having so many variations in sauce. I decided to travel to the home of bolognese and much more, Bologna.

Travelling to Bologna

Bologna is in the region of Emila Romagna of Italy. This region is food heaven for all fellow food lovers. Whilst travelling through Emila Romagna you can try the likes of Prosciutto di Parma DOP, Parmigiano Reggiano DOP, Aceto Balsamico DOP and many varieties of fresh pasta plus much more!

Whilst travelling in Bologna I found a 159 year old trattoria called Del Rosso. This trattoria is in high regard for traditional Bologna cuisine.

I made this the first place I would try a proper Bologna ragu alla bolognese. The bolognese was served with fresh tagliatelle which is the traditional pasta served with bolognese. The sauce was rich and full of meaty flavours. Not like the tomato version you will find in most restaurants outside of Italy. 

Academia Italiana della Cucina (1982 )

They 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. 

Tips for a Bologna Bolognese

  • The longer you simmer the bolognese sauce the better it gets
  • Do not use garlic, herbs or spaghetti
  • Once the pasta is cooked, add the pasta into the sauce to let the flavours combine into the pasta
  • Serve with Parmigiano Reggiano
  • Lastly Enjoy!

A photo of my Ragu alla Bolognese in Bologna Italy

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A traditional Ragù alla Bolognese recipe top shot photo
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5 from 8 votes

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.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time2 hrs 15 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Bolognese Sauce, Pasta, Tagliatelle Bolognese
Servings: 8 People
Calories: 525kcal
Cost: £12

Equipment

  • Large Sauté Pan
  • Large Pot

Ingredients

  • 50 ml Extra virgin olive oil
  • 50 g Butter
  • 1 Large onion or 2 medium finely diced
  • 4 Small carrots or 2 large finely diced
  • 2 Celery sticks finely diced
  • 125 g Unsmoked pancetta finely diced
  • 500 g Beef mince
  • 500 g Pork mince
  • 250 ml White wine
  • 500 ml Whole milk
  • 500 g Passata
  • 500 ml Beef stock
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly cracked black pepper
  • Fresh Tagliatelle & Parmigiano Reggiano

Instructions

  • 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.
  • 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 keep stirring letting the meat liquid evaporate. Once the mince has browned turn down the heat to medium.
  • 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 then turn the heat to low and simmer gently for at least 2 hours adding water if needed. Check and stir once every 15-30 minutes.
  • 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.
  • Serve fresh from the pan with freshly grated parmigiano reggiano.

Notes

  • We use 20% percent pork & beef mince for full flavour but feel free to buy lower fat percent mince meat for a healthier bolognese (it will still be delicious).
  • Fresh Tagliatelle & Parmigiano Reggiano not included in the calorie count

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