Monday, 18 November 2013

Bolognese sauce

Ragu alla bolognese, Bolognese sauce as they call it, is one of the most loved recipes of all Italian cooking tradition. Around the world it is declined in many different ways – not all of them very tasty – but I want to give you the original recipe – registered in the Chamber of Commerce of Bologna – were the name comes from.
My family recipe my family also includes some milk and peeled tomatoes instead of tomato paste.
This sauce is excellent for home made tagliatelle (an other typical dish of the Bologna area), pappardelle (same shape - a little bit larger), penne and in making lasagna (lasagne alla bolognese) in which is one of the world’s Italian favorite.

Recently (28-10-2015) there was a nice tv program on BBC.Please have a look!

Ingredients for 6 to 8

2/3 table spoons of oil
½ onion (40 grs.)
1 small carrot (40 grs)
1 stick of celery (50 grs)
700 grs of ground beef (85% lean)
700 grs /1,5 pint tomato sauce or 3 spoons tomato paste
50 gr oz. thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped
3 Tbsp. tomato paste / (OR 1 tin peeled tomatoes approx. 400 gr.)
50 gr oz. thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped
½ glass dry red wine or ½ glass of milk (my family recipe)
1 small pinch nutmeg
salt and pepper

How to:

1)  In a food processor or by hand finely chop the carrot, onion and celery.

2)  Put the oil in a large heavy pot over medium/high heat,bring it to the boil    and add the chopped vegetables. Stir well and sauté until soft (8-10 minutes).    Add the pancetta and let it cook.

    3)  Add the minced meat and let it brown, breaking the meat with a fork forabout 15 minutes.The meat should change its colour.

4)   Add the wine and let it evaporate (If you opted for my family versionadd   the milk and let it evaporate).

5) Add the tomato paste with at least 6 spoons of water (or the peeled   tomatoes with their juice) and let it simmer over the low heat for about an hour. (In case you used the peeled tomatoes, break them with the fork).

The sauce  should boil making small craters. Mix now and then until done. Taste it and add more salt if necessary.


This sauce can be made in advance and keeps well in the fridge for 2-3 days or can be frozen in air tight containers.


  1. Thanks for posting this recipe! Authentic italian dishes really interest me.

    When reading through the recipe though I noticed you mentioned adding pancetta and tomato paste but don't mention how much of each. About how much should we be using?

  2. Hi, and thank you f or reading my recipe.
    For these quantitis you will need about 50 gr.of pancetta and 3 table spoons double tomato concentrate.
    Enjoy your pasta!