International Recipes and Cooking Around the World

Ragù Bolognese

Bowl of pasta bolognese

(Italian tomato-meat sauce)

Average: 4.1 (7 votes)

Ragù bolognese is a good Sunday dinner dish. Its long simmering is perfect for a lazy day. Serve this rich meat sauce over tagliatelle, rigatoni or penne or as a lasagne filling. One thing the residents of Bologna never do is serve bolognese sauce over spaghetti.

4 to 6 servings


  • Olive oil -- 2 tablespoons
  • Butter -- 2 tablespoons
  • Onion, chopped -- 1
  • Carrot, chopped -- 2
  • Celery, chopped -- 1 stalk
  • Ground beef -- 1 pound
  • Salt and pepper -- to season
  • Milk -- 1 cup
  • Nutmeg -- pinch
  • Tomatoes,  peeled, seeded and chopped -- 2 cups
  • Dry white wine -- 1 cup


  1. In a large pot, heat the oil and butter over medium flame. Add the onion, carrot and celery and sauté until the onion is translucent. Add the ground beef and season with a little salt and pepper. Continue to cook, stirring to break up meat, until the beef is cooked through, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Pour in the milk and nutmeg and simmer over medium-low heat until the liquid is mostly reduced, 10 to 20 minutes.
  3. Add the tomatoes and white wine and continue to simmer on very low heat for anywhere from 1 to 4 hours. The longer you simmer the better the flavor will become. Add a little water as necessary. Toss with pasta and serve.

Ragù Bolognese Variations

  • Use 1/3 pound ground pork and 2/3 pound ground beef for better flavor.
  • Two cups of canned tomatoes or 1/4 cup tomato paste may be substituted for the fresh, chopped tomatoes.

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