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

View All

Cooking Tips
More Recipes and Ideas
Loading review filters...

    13 Reviews
    0/1000 characters
    Your Rating:
    Sort by: 
    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
    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.
    delicious and of my favorite "go to" recipes when there is a chill in the air
    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.
    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!!!
    I could eat this everyday! Easy to make. Cooking time is worth the wait. I will never make plain spaghiti sauce again.
    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.
    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!
    It is different from the regular old pasta sauce but is strange and expensive.
    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.
    All meat and no tomato taste.
    It's supposed to have very little tomato taste. It is a meat ragu. This is the way it should be. Mostly meat. Not all Italian sauces are tomato based.
    All I can do, is shake my head at this review...ugh.
    This sauce turned out very well and could compete with any bolognese that I have tried at fine Italian restaurants. For my personal taste, I found the smoky pancetta flavor a bit overpowering and I would use less pancetta next time (about half). Other than that, it was delicious! By the way, I didn't wait the two hours of simmer time, instead I used more heavy whipping cream than milk to get a thicker consistency in less than half the time.
    The most "classic" tasting bolognese recipe I've found. HIGHLY recommended!
    This sauce was fantastic!!! I added a little more of the paste and meat stock for more sauce, but it tasted like we were out at a fancy restaurant! It does take time and a lot of your attention but if you have the time it is most certainly worth it!
     We will absolutly be making it again!!!
    Flag as inappropriate

    Thank you! your flag was submitted.

    Not what you're looking for? Try:

    Double-Batch Classic Bolognese

    Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray