50
com_content.article
(941 votes, average 3.91 out of 5)
Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese)3.91 out of 50 based on 941 voters.


Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 1 


Preparation:
Cooking:
Difficulty: Easy    
Suitable for freezing

The ragù alla bolognese is probably the king of the meat sauces. As I said in the introduction of another ragù recipe published in this website (My family ragù):

"Italy is divided into 20 regions and almost each one has a very distinct cooking tradition. Hence, I am not surprised that these differences have influenced the way Italians prepare the meat sauce and this is why we have different varieties of it (sometimes the recipe can also vary from town to town within the same province!)"

Well, in Bologna the situation is even worse: substantial differences can be found within the city districts, so, for clarity, it is better I stick to the official recipe deposited in the Chamber of Commerce of Bologna by the " Accademia Italiana della Cucina" in 1982. This way we cannot go wrong!

 As an alternative to this rich ragù, also have a look at the “my family ragù” recipe (featured in the meat section of the website); it's a simplified version for those who are attempting the ragù recipe for the first time.  


Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 2

 

The ingredients listed are for 500 g (1 pound 2 ounces ) minced beef. This quantity is enough for topping pasta (personally I think that ragù alla bolognese is at its best with homemade tagliatelle rather than spaghetti) and serving 4-5 persons.

 

Ingredients (Metric & Imperial measurements): 

  • 250 g (9 oz) Minced beef
  • 250 g (9 oz) Minced pork (shoulder)
  • 90 ml (3 fl oz) Extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 Onion - medium size (finely chopped)
  • 1 Carrot - medium size (finely chopped)
  • 2 Celery stalks with some leaves (finely chopped)
  • 1 Beef stock cube (use this to prepare about 400 ml - 3/4 pint stock)
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) White wine 
  • 100 ml (4 fl oz) Sieved tomatoes (passata di pomodoro)
  • 150 ml (1/4 pint) Milk 
  • Salt and black ground pepper for seasoning
  • These are Imperial and Metric measurements. U.S measurements available at italyum.com

Nutrition facts: Calories 650 per serving.

 

Ingredients (U.S. measurements): 

  • 9 ounces Minced beef
  • 9 ounces Minced pork (shoulder)
  • 6 tablespoons (3/8 cup) Extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 Onion - medium size (finely chopped)
  • 1 Carrot - medium size (finely chopped)
  • 2 Celery stalks with some leaves (finely chopped)
  • 1 Beef stock cube (use this to prepare about 1 3/4 cups stock)
  • 10 tablespoons (5/8 cup) White wine
  • 8 tablespoons (1/2 cup) Sieved tomatoes (passata di pomodoro)
  • 10 tablespoons (5/8 cup) Milk 
  • Salt and black ground pepper for seasoning

 

Directions:

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 3

To start, you need two sauté casseroles, one large (about 30 cm - 12" wide) and one medium size (about 22 cm - 8 3/4" wide). Put 45 ml (3 tablespoons) of olive oil in each pan.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 4

Heat the olive oil in the larger pan (medium/high heat). When the oil is hot, put all the mince meat (both beef and pork) into the pan.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 5

Stir with a wooden spatula and at the same time press the meat down in order to break it up. We need to avoid the formation of meat lumps.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 6

Keep stirring and pressing down until all the meat has browned.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 7

Browning the meat could take between 5 and 10 minutes depending on the heat. However, what is important is to give the meat a nice brown colour, but watch you do not burn it.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 8

When you see that the meat cannot cope any longer with the heat (otherwise you risk burning it), add the white wine.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 9

Let the wine evaporate (it will take a couple of minutes). Meanwhile use the wooden spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan so that nothing sticks to the bottom.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 10

Scrape also the side of the pan. Slightly tilting the pan, so that the wine wets the side, will help to remove the substance that sticks to the side (it's all good stuff so we try to put it back into the sauce). After 2 minutes, bring the heat to very low and leave the pan with the meat alone.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 11

While the meat is cooking on a very low heat, heat the olive oil in the second pan (medium/high heat). When the oil is hot, add all the chopped vegetables (onion, carrot and celery) into the pan.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 12

Stir and sauté the vegetables for about 5 minutes until they are soft.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 13

Then, add all the vegetables into the larger pan containing the meat. Put the smaller pan away, from now on all the cooking will be done in the larger pan.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 14

Raise the heat a bit. From very low, bring it to low/medium and stir for few seconds so that the meat and vegetables are evenly distributed.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 15

Then, add the sieved tomatoes and stir.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 16

Season with a tiny pinch of salt and pepper.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 17

Stir for few seconds and continue cooking for about 5 minutes.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 18

Then, add the hot stock to cover the sauce (my recipe took about 400 ml - 1 3/4 cups). There you go! Now everything is ready for the simmering stage. Bring the heat to very low.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 19

Cover with a lid and simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 20

After 1 hour of simmering, remove the lid and continue simmering for another couple of hours, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is reduced to the right consistency (having completed the third hour, the sauce should have lost most of the water and should be ready to top the pasta).

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 21

Half an hour before the end, season with salt according to taste. I suggest doing the seasoning at this late stage when the sauce has lost most of the water.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 22

Immediately after the seasoning, add the milk.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 23

Stir and continue simmering until you have reached the end of the third hour. Now, since you added the milk, it could be that you need some extra simmering to bring the sauce to the right consistency. Do not be worried about simmering for an extra half an hour or more, if required, because the more you simmer the better.

 

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes WebPhoto 24

Finally, we have got the ragù alla bolognese. Now, it is up to you how to use it. You can top pasta, you can use it for lasagne or put part of the sauce in the freezer to use the first time you are in a rush.

Buon appetito!

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes Federico

Federico Pezzaioli

Share your comments...

comments powered by Disqus

Find a recipe

About Federico


Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes Federico

Federico Pezzaioli is an ex-badass Italian Paratrooper on a mission - to make creating delicious authentic Italian food really easy. He researches, writes and photographs each recipe with the same attention to detail he used to apply to packing his parachute.
Read more...

Advertisement

Questions?

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes Social Facebook Box Blue 48Dont' forget - if you have any questions about our recipes, you can ask Federico directly on our Facebook page. It's also the perfect place to share your love of Italian food, and get exclusive updates on new recipes. Buon appetito!

Get in touch

Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes Social Facebook Box Blue 48Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes Social Twitter Box Blue 48Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes Youtube This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

RSS Feed


Traditional Spaghetti Bolognese sauce (Ragù alla bolognese) | Meat Recipes Rss20

Fly back to the top