How to Make Ragu Bolognese Sauce | Authentic Italian Ragu Recipe

An authentic Italian Ragu recipe, filmed in Italy! In this video, you will learn how to make Ragu Bolognese sauce — the key ingredient to many traditional pasta dishes.

This traditional recipe will make about 1200 grams of concentrated ragu. In Italy, ‘Ragu Bolognese’ is more like an ingredient than a final sauce. For instance, by adding this Ragu Bolognese to tomato sauce, you can make ‘Spaghetti Ragù’ popularized by Italian-Americans.

In Italy, Ragu is often used to make “Tagliatelle al Ragù aka tagliatelle alla Bolognese” — In this case, ragu is added to tomato sauce and served in and over pasta. While Americans often associate Ragu with spaghetti, Italians traditionally eat Ragù Bolognese tomato sauce with tagliatelle. Or, they use with another egg-based pasta like pappardelle.

Check out our recipe “Pasta with Ragu Sauce” to learn how to use this ragu to make the famous “Tagliatelle al Ragù aka tagliatelle alla Bolognese.” If you really love spaghetti, feel free to use that instead!

Ragu Bolognese sauce freezes great, making it very economical despite quality ingredients like red wine.

Tip: Always look for ’San Marzano’ tomatoes for this sauce. Mutti is an excellent brand available in both Italy and the United States. The easiest way to keep Mutti in stock is to simply order it from Amazon’s Pantry. Here’s a link to the Mutti tomatoes used in this recipe: Mutti is also often available at the World Market.

(Disclaimer: Any Amazon links included are affiliate links. However, we only recommend products we believe in and use. Most importantly, we know it can be hard to find quality Italian ingredients in other parts of the world. We hope our links help!)

SERVES: 12 (if combining with other ingredients, like tomato sauce and pasta)

RAGU BOLOGNESE INGREDIENTS

Celery – 200 grams (cleaned of strings and diced)
Carrots – 240 grams (peeled and diced)
Red Onions – 280 grams (diced)
Butter – 80 grams

Olive Oil – 2-3 tablespoons
Ground Beef – 1 pound
Ground Pork – 1 pound
Salt – 2-3 tablespoons (or, to taste)
Red Wine – 1/2 liter (1 pint), Lambrusco or Syrah (Shiraz)

Black Pepper – 1/2 teaspoon
Tomato Paste – 70 grams, dissolved in small amount of beef broth. Here’s the Mutti product featured in this recipe:

Beef Broth – about 2 cups (or, as needed)
Heavy Cream – 3 tablespoons (alternative: whole milk)

HOW TO MAKE RAGU BOLOGNESE SAUCE

CHOP THE VEGETABLES
Finely dice celery, carrots and red onions. Feel free to use food processor for all but the celery, which tends to loose it’s juice when ‘processed.’ Be sure to remove the strings from the celery by peeling the outer layer with a potato peeler.

SAUTÉ THE VEGETABLES
Melt 80 grams of butter in a large skillet. Sauté the chopped vegetables in the butter. Drizzle in several tablespoons of olive oil.

Cover. Simmer vegetables for about 10 minutes.

ADD MEAT AND SEASONINGS

Add all of the ground pork and beef. As meat browns, break the meat into small pieces using a chopping motion, distributing the meat evenly with the vegetables. When completely distributed and cooked…

Cover. Reduce heat to medium-low. Cook for 5 minutes.

Add a tablespoon of salt. Add 1/4 liter (1/2 pint) of red wine to the meat and vegetables. Stir.

Add 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper.

Cook uncovered for 10 minutes.

Add the rest of the wine (1/4 liter or 1/2 pint). Add a second tablespoon of salt. Dissolve 70 grams of tomato paste with a few tablespoons of beef broth. Add to ragu and stir.

SIMMER THE RAGU TO REDUCE
Simmer the ragu UNCOVERED for at least 1 hour. Simmer over medium-low heat.

Every 15 minutes: Stir and add 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup of beef broth if the liquid is close to being absorbed.

It’s important not to burn the ragu, so there always should be a little broth in the skillet to as the ragu simmers.

After at least an hour has passed (stirring and checking every 15 minutes), add 3 tablespoons of heavy cream or whole milk. Stir.

Simmer uncovered for 15 more minutes.

Buon Appetito!
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