Classic Bolognese

Bologna's ragu is the most famous in Italy. According to the Bologna chapter of Italy's gastronomic society, L'Accademia Italiana della[ Cucina, this is the most typical and authentic-tasting rendition of the city's famed sauce.]

4 servings
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 10 ounces pancetta, diced
  • 1 cup small diced carrots
  • 3/4 cup small diced celery
  • 1 cup small diced onions
  • 3/4 pound ground chuck
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons Italian tomato paste, diluted in 10 tablespoons meat stock
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Salt and black pepper

The building of a ragu involves three simple steps: browning the vegetables and meats, reducing flavorful liquids over the browned foods to build up layers of taste, then covering them with liquid and simmering gently until the flavors have blended and the meats are tender. Ragu`s should be rich without being heavy. A ragu is a meat sauce with tomato, it is not a tomato sauce with meat.

Adapted from Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper

In a small sauce pot, bring the cream up to a simmer and reduce by 1/3. About 6 tablespoons of cream should be remaining. In a sauce pot, render the pancetta over medium heat, about 8 minutes, or until almost all the fat is rendered. Stir in the carrots, celery, and onions. Season with salt and pepper. Saute the vegetables for about 3 minutes or until the vegetables are translucent. In a mixing bowl, combine the meats. Season the meats with salt and pepper. Increase the heat and stir in the meat. Brown the meat for 5 minutes, or until the meat is medium brown in color. Stir in the wine, garlic and diluted tomato paste, and reduce the heat to very low. Cook partially covered for 2 hours. From time to time stir in a tablespoon or so of the milk, by the end of the two hours the milk should be incorporated. Stir in the reduced cream. Season with salt and black pepper

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4.4 14
Good, but strangely I tried another bolognese receipe by Emeril that included cinnamon and Nutmeg with red wine, not white and no tomato sauce. Strange item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is AMAZING. I make it all the time. I read the other reviews, and it is funny... PLEASE if you are looking for a tomato sauce, make your own TOMATO sauce and not a meat sauce... This is classic italian bolognese "MEAT" sauce.... item not reviewed by moderator and published
delicious and of my favorite "go to" recipes when there is a chill in the air item not reviewed by moderator and published
Creamy, meaty, rich, elegant, tasty, tasty, tasty. It's a hot day today and I should be grilling something, but I'm craving this hearty comfort food. I've made it only once before and it was out of this world. It doesn't seem like you'll have enough liquid - we're all used to spaghetti type sauces - but in the slow cooking, it all comes together and it perfect. And you don't miss the tomatoes like you think you would. Another big wow for Emeril. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was my very first time making this delicious sauce. I was a little nervous because we were having our friends over to celebrate her birthday. This recipe so easy to follow, step-by-step. It came out absolutely fabulous!!!! I would definitely make this again. The cooking time is certainly worth the wait. Most of the time was spent chopping up the veggies. The sauce has a great flavor of the ground chuck, veal, and pancetta. So flavorful!!!! Thanks Emeril for this great recipe!!! You made my night!!! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I could eat this everyday! Easy to make. Cooking time is worth the wait. I will never make plain spaghiti sauce again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Absolutely fabulous recipe. As the recipe states, this is truly a meat ragu sauce; not a red sauce with meat. The recipe is straight forward and delivers complex flavors that were built upon during the cooking process. The sauce great flavor and texure and has become a family favorite and a meal that we like to deliver on special occasions. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a fabulous recipe. It takes a little time to make, but well worth it at the end. The only changes I made was to up both the garlic and tomato paste. I used 4 cloves garlic and 4 tbsp of tomato paste. The sauce was very tasty and I highly recommend this recipe, as it is now in my keeper file. Thank you Emeril for another wonderful recipe, your food never lets me down! item not reviewed by moderator and published
It is different from the regular old pasta sauce but is strange and expensive. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This bolognese recipe is a little more work then others, but it turns out delicious. I finally have a bolognese recipe that I will use over and over again. item not reviewed by moderator and published
The one with cinnamon is Emeril's interpretation (the spices are much like they used in the 1800s) which I happen to like better. Even this classic is subject to tweaks by individual cooks in Bologna itself. item not reviewed by moderator and published

Not what you're looking for? Try:

Double-Batch Classic Bolognese

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray