This recipe is for a traditional Italian meat sauce known as Ragu Bolognese, which is often paired with pasta. The sauce is rich and full of flavor, making it a perfect dish for colder weather, though it can be enjoyed any time of year. Our recipe uses basic ingredients and is easy to follow. We’ll guide you through the steps to make a delicious Ragu Bolognese from scratch.
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1/2 pound ground pork
- 1/2 cup diced pancetta or bacon
- 1 large onion, finely chopped
- 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
- 1/2 cup red wine
- 1/2 cup beef broth
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1 pound pasta, such as tagliatelle, fettuccine, or spaghetti
- Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)
1. To begin making Ragu Bolognese, add the finely chopped onion, celery, and carrot to a large pot or Dutch oven and cook them over medium heat until they become soft and translucent, which should take approximately 5 minutes.
This process is also known as sweating the vegetables and will help to release their natural flavors and aromas, which will enhance the overall taste of the dish. Be sure to stir the vegetables occasionally to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Once they are fully cooked, you can proceed with the rest of the recipe.
2. After sweating the vegetables, you can add the ground beef and ground pork to the pot and cook them over medium-high heat, using a wooden spoon to break up any large clumps, until they are fully browned.
This should take approximately 8 minutes. Be sure to continue stirring the meat mixture as it cooks to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pot and ensure that it is evenly cooked throughout. Once the meat is fully browned, you can proceed with the next steps of the recipe.
3. After browning the ground meat, you can add the minced garlic to the pot and cook it for about 1 minute, stirring constantly, until it becomes fragrant. Garlic can burn easily, so be sure to keep a close eye on it and stir it frequently to prevent it from becoming overcooked or sticking to the bottom of the pot. Once the garlic is fragrant, you can proceed with the next steps of the recipe.
4. After cooking the garlic, you can add the crushed tomatoes, red wine, beef broth, tomato paste, oregano, thyme, and red pepper flakes (if desired) to the pot. Stir the ingredients together until they are fully combined. Then, season the mixture with salt and black pepper to taste.
The salt will enhance the flavors of the other ingredients, so be sure to add it gradually and taste the sauce as you go. You can also adjust the seasoning at the end of the cooking process if needed. Once everything is mixed and seasoned, you can continue cooking the Ragu Bolognese according to the recipe instructions.
5. After adding all the ingredients and seasoning to the pot, you can bring the Ragu Bolognese to a boil over high heat. Once it reaches a boil, reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. This will allow the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken.
Keep an eye on the pot as it simmers to ensure that it doesn’t boil over or stick to the bottom of the pot. If the sauce starts to look too thick or dry, you can add a small amount of water or beef broth to thin it out. Once the Ragu Bolognese is fully cooked, you can serve it with your favorite pasta and garnish it with grated Parmesan cheese or chopped fresh herbs if desired.
6. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to the package instructions in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain the pasta, reserving about 1 cup of the pasta cooking water.
7. Once the Ragu Bolognese is fully cooked, you can add the cooked pasta to the pot and toss it to coat the noodles evenly with the sauce. If the sauce seems too thick, you can add some of the reserved pasta cooking water to help thin it out to your desired consistency.
This will help the sauce adhere better to the pasta and ensure that each bite is flavorful. Be sure to stir the pasta and sauce mixture gently to prevent the noodles from breaking apart. Once the pasta is fully coated, you can serve it hot, garnished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
Serve the pasta hot, garnished with grated Parmesan cheese (if using).
- For a richer and creamier sauce, you can add 1/2 cup of heavy cream to the sauce during the last 10 minutes of cooking.
- If you don’t have red wine, you can use beef broth or chicken broth instead.
- You can also make a Recipe for ragu bolognese with other meats such as veal or lamb. Just replace the ground beef and ground pork with the meat of your choice.
- Leftover Ragu Bolognese can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or in the freezer for up to 3 months.
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