Ragu Bolognese

Total Time:
1 hr 45 min
Prep:
15 min
Cook:
1 hr 30 min

Yield:
4 servings
Level:
Easy

Ingredients
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 carrot, finely, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 rib celery, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, sliced
  • 1 pound veal, ground
  • 1 pound pork, ground
  • 1/4 pound pancetta or slab bacon, ground
  • 1/2 tube tomato paste
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating
Directions

In a 6 to 8-quart, heavy-bottomed saucepan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat. Add the onions, celery, and garlic and sweat over medium heat until the vegetables are translucent and soft but not browned, about 10 to 15 minutes. Add the veal, pork, and pancetta and stir into the vegetables. Add the meat over high heat, stirring to keep the meat from sticking together until browned. Add the tomato paste, milk, and wine and simmer over medium-low heat for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and remove from the heat.

When ready to use, the cooked pasta should be added to a saucepan with the appropriate amount of hot ragu Bolognese, and tosses so that the pasta is evenly coated by the ragu.


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4.3 59
I actually made this recipe from one of Mario's cookbooks, so it was SLIGHTLY different. The cookbook version is exactly the same EXCEPT: it calls for no butter, 1/4 cup olive oil (instead of 5 T), 2 medium onions (finely diced), 4 ribs celery (finely diced), 2 carrots (finely diced), 5 cloves garlic (sliced), & one 6oz can tomato paste (instead of 1/2 tube). Otherwise, it's exactly the same. I simmered the ragu for 1.5 hours (stirring every 15 mins), and served it with my grandma's homemade gnocchi recipe. I loved it, my husband loved it, and we ate so much we are both stuffed. For those who say this is "bland" or "lacking depth of flavor", I would encourage you to either (1) try the measurements in Mario's cookbook version (I listed them above), or (2) add more salt! Many recipes just require more salt than most people are willing to put into the dish, and many times it's the salt that brings out the flavor. This was phenomenal, and I will definitely make it again and again! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Fantastico! I had a delicious ragu bolognese with pappardelle at a great little Italian cafe recently and wondered if I could make something as good at home. This recipe was perfect. I followed it closely, the only real change was I used "meatloaf mix" (veal, pork, and beef) in stead of just veal and pork. I also used a 4 oz. package of pre-diced thick pancetta. I diced the carrots, onions, celery, and garlic very finely, and sautéed them slowly until just soft and translucent (20+ minutes). I used a whole small can of tomato paste because we don't get it in "tubes" where I live. Couldn't find pappardelle and didn't have time to make fresh pasta so I used fettuccine. Results were outstanding, a home run, as good as the Italian cafe, thank you Mario Batali! p.s. I cannot believe some of the low ratings on this, maybe people were expecting a marinara? item not reviewed by moderator and published
The best ever. And I sent the recipe to my mother in law, who is such an amazing cook I normally wouldn't dare make a suggestion, but even she might appreciate it. My husband was thrilled with this (so was I) and this is a permanent part of my arsenal. I did replace the broth with red wine, but I do that a lot. If you use the freshest and best ingredients, this will be beautiful. My suggestion is to use real Parm, not the green can, and fresh vegetables and herbs. This recipe = a happy marriage. Seriously, thanks, Mario! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was delicious! Such an easy way to do it with great tasty benefits. I usually have Pancetta - but didn't today - Served hot and fresh - it was very much like the real deal. Can't wait to see how it freezes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Sooo delicious! Had terrible stomach cramps from the high amount of fat in the recipe. Since fat rendering is part of the recipe, you can't really drain it. Reducing butter and lower fat meat can help those who find high fat food difficult to digest. item not reviewed by moderator and published
It's all in the browning..brown the veggies, brown the meat then brown it some more. Scrap the bottom and brown some more. Add tomato sauce and a cinnamon stick..then add your water and reduce 3 times. This is not an instant recipe..but OMG it's the best you will ever wrap your month around item not reviewed by moderator and published
Significantly different recipe then the ragu recipe in "Molto Italiano". The meat and liquids are on par BUT the original recipe calls for 2 onions, 4 celery ribs, 2 carrots, 5 garlic cloves, no butter, 1/2 cup evoo, 1tsp thyme leaves and more tomato paste. It is AWESOME! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Amazing recipe! I have made this at least 7 times since watching it on the Chew! People say there isn't flavor they are not making it correctly ! Add salt and pepper to taste! People need to read! So delicious thanks Mario! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Saw Mario make this dish on The Chew a couple of weeks ago and had to make it. Based on the reviews I read, I made some changes and the bolognese was awesome. I used ground pork and lamb instead of veal. I also used a whole small can of tomato paste and a small can of tomato sauce. Since some reviewers also commented that it did not have much flavor, I add my own herbs - rosemary, basil and a little bit of Thyme. The recipe makes a lot particularly when you consider it has 2 lbs of meat, but I know we will enjoy eating the leftovers and also sharing with my family. Thanks Mario, another winner in my books. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I made this tonight and it was a lot of work for not much flavor. I have to figure out how to transform the leftovers into something more flavorful. The lack of spices is what ruins this dish. Disappointed. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I didn't love this dish. I rarely follow a "recipe" for Italian sauces, and this reminded me of one of the sauces that people brag about cooking for hours on a Sunday. That's not my style, This sauce lacked the freshness and brightness of the sauces that I prefer. My husband referred to it as "really good Hamburger Helper." I agree with him. I now have three containers in the freezer that I'm going to cut with fresh crushed tomatoes to try to salvage. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was so disappointed with this recipe. It was bland and lacked dimention. I had to bang it up with some garlic, nutmeg and more tomato paste. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was just ok. If you like a lot of sauce with your meat and pasta this is NOT the dish for you. While there was a lot of taste, it seemed almost dry. I even added some chicken stock but it all cooked away since it simmered for so long. To save time I used a processor to chop up the veggies. I'm going to keep looking. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this with ground short rib/brisket mix that Fresh Direct has --- I'd never seen it before, but love both, so how bad could it be? It makes an extra rich sauce that's delicioso. item not reviewed by moderator and published
A 5 because the recipe is perfect. I happened to have everything to do this except I had pork sirloin in large chunks instead of ground. I took care and cut the pork into the smallest pieces I could manage and have the blister to prove it. Followed the recipe exactly with an extra .5 cup each of milk and wine so I could allow a bit more cooking time. Delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Love this recipes classic style of Bologna rich inviting and unpretentious. Mario's and and Marcella Hazan's are the classic bolonese. Don't mess with perfection those who say to add this or change that are doing nothing more that drawing a mustache on the Mona Lisa. You don't mess with perfection this is a classic recipe people! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I have made this recipe a half dozen times and each time to rave reviews. I think it's an excellent recipe, full of rich flavors. I make it exactly as written except I double up the carrots and celery in the mirepoix. You can make this with any meats including veal, pork, beef, turkey. I've even used "Meatloaf Mix" which is a combination of veal, pork and beef you can buy at most markets. Most people say it's the BEST bolognese they've ever had. It will be a recipe I go to over and over again. I love it over a fresh pappardelle. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I was disappointed with this recipe. I followed it per the directions, but the fat content was way to high. I had to modify the approach before I served it to my guests. I doubled the tomato paste and added 1 28oz can of chopped tomatoes. The addition of the acid from the tomatoes help to cut the fat. Adjusted the spice profile by adding 1 tablespoon of oregano and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Side note: the recipe calls for a diced carrot, but it is never mentioned in the directions to be added. My assumption was to add with other vegetables at the beginning to let them sweat. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this for New Years Eve dinner with friends - I followed the recipe exactly and it was amazing! item not reviewed by moderator and published
So delicious! I made mine very similar, except used red wine and beef instead of Veal. you can check it out at hardly housewives. item not reviewed by moderator and published
While I personally believe Mario to be an incredible Italian chef with great knowledge of reginal Italian cuisine, this recipe is an bastardized version for americans. If you leave out the wine, garlic, pancetta, olive oil and tomato paste, then add 12 more tablespoons of butter and follow the recipe, its would be perfect! I tried it and sorry Mario, not terrible, but not terrific either! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe looked, smelled and tasted like gourmet "Hamburger Helper". I consider myself to be an itermediate level cook and was sorely disappointed by this recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Good and simple recipe but I thought it was missing some key ingredients. When I saw Mario Batali's name next to the recipe on the Google page, I fully expected to see chicken livers in this recipe. Also, minced carrot to accompany the celery and onion go a long way. Red wine is a necessity in a Ragu Bolognese. Other than that, the recipe is great. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Need some help with this recipe: when trying to sweat the meat, i get way too much water coming out of the beef. Which means that the meat starts boiling instead of sweating and theres no caramelizing to the bottom of the pan..... Ive watched the youtube video and Mario gets no water at all it seems and the meat is well scorched to the bottom. I can't seem to get that effect.... Is it a temperature problem, or not using the proper kind of meat ? Or the wrong kind of pan ? Also the meat seems to break down and get into very small pieces which get overcooked. The youtube video talks about medium to low heat when cooking the meat, but in this recipe it says high heat. So which is it ? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Followed the recipe to the letter. Best bolognese ever! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I've hunted down lots of Bolognese recipes and this one is by far the best. You need to cook it properly though. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Easy is an understatement - turned out amazing, and now waiting to put the fresh fettuccine in the boiling water just before we are ready to eat. The last 10 minutes of cooking time I put together a Zabaglione over blueberries to round out this Italian meal. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is BY FAR the best bolgnese sauce I've ever had. It's silky, rich, and absolutely delicious. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was so good that my husband was dreaming of the leftovers last night. I used pancetta and followed the directions to the letter, something I never do. I have found that Mario's recipes have the perfect ratios and should not be altered, nor the directions, as he has a reason and method for it all. The only way to screw it up is if you don't season it properly, the only thing Mario leaves up to you. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Made this last night. Left it simmering on the stove while I went out and, when I came back, my very stoned sister had eaten 1/4 of it and billed it "the most awesomest sloppy joe mix ever". The velvetiness of the sauce really comes together if you lower the temperatures here a bit and take your time. Add the meat over medium heat instead of high and brown for 30-40 minutes instead of 10-15. Reduce to medium-low and add the milk. Let that incorporate itself for 15 minutes. Then add the tomato paste and let that incorporate itself for 15 minutes before adding the wine. If you have the time, put it on the lowest possible setting after adding the wine and let it simmer for 2 to 3 hours. Yum. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was excellent! I loved the flavors of the meats, although I didn't really taste the bacon (will skip it next time to save on the fat unless I can find pancetta). I found there was too much oil and butter, so next time I will cut it down to have just enough to cook the vegetables. The recipe calls for 1/2 tube tomato paste. I used the entire small can of Contadina tomato paste and even added a few small fresh tomatoes, diced. Definitely cook this for a minimum of 1 hour. The longer, the better the flavors to come out, and also makes a nice thick meaty ragu. I served this with papparadelle pasta, one of my favorites. This is a keeper! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am a self taught cook and I don't usually use recipes but I love to get inspiration from them. I was simply going to make a Pork Pasta sauce and looked on here for something new. WOW, this recipe's base has turned out to be the best sauce ever. I followed it to my liking and minused out the carrots and added green onions and mushrooms instead. For the wine I used Pinot Grigio and then added 1/2 cup of Brie Cheese at the end. I added my cooked Gnocchi and wala... Best Meal Ever! Thanks Mario! item not reviewed by moderator and published
We really don't care about the best Bolognese you have ever had in italy, but thanks. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This sauce is packed with flavor. I made it the first time to use for Mario Batali's Bolognese Lasagna. (One caveat?the Lasagna does not travel well?i.e., for a pot luck supper; otherwise it is yummy!) I make this sauce just as it is written, and we love it with any style pasta. I prepare it a day ahead, and reheat at serving time. Lovely! item not reviewed by moderator and published
AFTER HAVING LIVED IN BOLOGNA,I KNOW THAT IT IS A SIN TO PUT GARLIC IN BOLOGNESE.THE WHITE WINE IS RIGHT,A LITTLE PORK ACCEPTABLE(ALTHOUGH THE REAL INGREDIENT IS A BIT OF CHICKEN LIVERS)BEST BOLOGNESE I EVER HAD WAS IN A RESTAURANT CALLED LOVISE IN COSTABISSARA IN VICENZA ITALY. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This really did taste like some next level pasta sauce. Def like what you would get in a more authentic restaurant....and very easy! item not reviewed by moderator and published
For the meat in this dish, I used a couple mild Italian sausages, pancetta, and some cheap stew beef. I prepared the rest of the recipe as-is and served over a simple polenta. This was a wonderful, easy, inexpensive dish to make- even for a weeknight (as long as you start it simmering early enough!). On another note, I'm glad to have found another sneaky, tasty way to get some veggies into our meals. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe was as close to an authentic Italian ragu that I've had since going there three years ago. The noodles end-up glazed with sauce with the meat taking center stage, and that's how it should be. I made it with ground beef, ground Italian hot sausage, and freshly sliced deli panchetta, and that combination added many layers of flavor to the dish. I recommend that you stick with the white wine reduction rather than substituting red wine. It keeps the dish delicate if you do so. I also recommend that you use high quality meats since the meat tastes take the foreground in this dish. 1hr 15min of reduction was exactly the right time for my gas stove set to 3/10 heat. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe has become a popular family request at birthday dinners and family functions! The flavors are bold yet elegant, and the simplicity of the recipe lends itself well to compliments to the chef that are far beyond the effort exerted! Try finishing it off with a little white truffle oil! Mario - Thanks for this wonderful recipe that has served my family well over the years! item not reviewed by moderator and published
I had to substitute bacon for pancetta, and ground beef for veal, but this was HANDS DOWN the best bolognese that I have ever eaten. I swear that my husband was almost in tears, and so was I. It was a transcendent experience; enlightenment through pasta! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Just changed from dry white wine to a good red chianti....and changed the milk to light cream....holy cow......for the GODS! item not reviewed by moderator and published
This is a great dish. I believe that the American palate has been butchered throughout the generations to believing that Italian food is exclusively spaghetti and meatballs or maybe a crummy frozen lasagna from the supermarket. Italian food is so much more! Not every dish is lavished in the San Marzano tomatoes. This is a great example. The tomato paste and white wine add the right amount of acidity that is needed. This is the Italian cooking that made the country's culinary traditions world-famous. It's a shame to see American palate kill that because we simply expect there to be a more tomato presence. I'm confident that without this preconceived notion, not just Americans but the world would appreciate great, rustic Italian cooking for what it is--for its Ragu Bolognese. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was a lovely recipe. I admit though, I made a few changes due to availability of the ingredients. I added more carrot and garlic to the recipe. And I could not find veal, so I used extra lean ground beef instead. I allowed the recipe to cook for 2 hours, and the sauce was great served over Dececco penne pasta. This is a keeper. Thank you Mario for another great recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is very simple and tastes great. I usually don't grind the pancetta....just put it in the freezer for a few minutes and chop it very fine. I also serve the bolognese over AMERICAN BEAUTY brand egg noodles....take my word for it, this brand of egg noodles makes this bolognese sauce taste even better. I've also found that I put alittle more tomato paste in the sauce than the recipe calls for. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I am very happy I found this recipe. We thought it was delicicous. I did make a couple of changes though. I don't care for wine, so I used Chicken broth in it's place. I also didn't have a tube of tomato paste, so I used 1 small can. Other than that I made it just as it was written. We put it over Spaghetti Squash. Oh so yummy. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I thought this was fantastic. I only made the sauce, not the pasta. The recipe took longer than I thought to prepare as I chopped all the veggies by hand, next time I will use the food processor to speed up the prep time. I use a mixture of beef/veal/pork and thought the sauce came out nice and smooth but with enough liquid to keep the sauce moist. I would make again item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wonderful bolognese recipe but I added a 16 oz can of chopped Italian tomatoes with juices...felt the paste wasn't tomatoey enough and the recipe kind of thick without it. It's a matter of taste. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Great flavor! Very filling but delicious! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Wonderfully easy and tasty. Cook it pretty hard, though; and add a bit more tomato paste, wine and milk than it calls for. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is a good starting point but I felt it really needed the addition of tomatoes, I added 1 can of italian diced and it could have used 2 or more. I ground the pancetta myself by throwing it in my food processor and giving it a few pulses. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This was my first attempt at Bolognese and it turned out well but I think I will try a couple other recipes to compare. I shopped at a very high-end market and they acted like I was crazy when I asked them to grind the pancetta; they would not do it since the only grinder they have is used exclusively for raw meat. I did get a good tip, tho -- to put the pancetta in the freezer for 5-10 minutes before chopping; it was MUCH easier to work with that way. My pancetta did not "melt away" as someone described; maybe I didn't brown the meat long enough? item not reviewed by moderator and published
Simple flavors blended well and fill the kitchen with the best aroma!!! Good eats! item not reviewed by moderator and published
My husband made this for a family gathering, it was a huge success. Everyone loved it! We will make this dish a part of our keeper recipes. item not reviewed by moderator and published
i have made this ragu at least 5 times now, and it is incredible every time. I can't find anyone who will grind the guancialle so I just chop it into little bits and it ends up just melting away. I didn't have white wine the last couple of times I made it, so I used red, and liked it even more. This sauce is great with Penne Regate and Rigatone. It will be a staple at my house from now on. item not reviewed by moderator and published
This recipe is a great standby in a pinch for dinner. It has good flavor and is easy to prepare. I substitute lean ground beef for the veal and I also use red wine instead of white for a more robust flavour. I think it's a personal choice and either works fine. I serve mine over polenta and it's always a favorite. item not reviewed by moderator and published
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This was so easy and so good!Would be great to use for a lasagna recipe. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Quick, easy, and makes good leftovers! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Mario has a few similar versions of this recipe and all are quite wonderful. This uses on veal and pork with no beef, but is still and excellent combination of meats and vegetables simmered in milk and wine that give a silky texture. Not super fast or easy to make, but worth the extra effort for a nice dinner. item not reviewed by moderator and published
Forgot to add one more thing...in the cookbook version, Mario also has you add one tsp fresh thyme leaves at the same time you add the milk and wine... item not reviewed by moderator and published
What spices would you add? Do you smoke? This dish doesn't need any spices. It has a wonderful depth to the flavors that doesn't require an advanced pallet to enjoy or sense. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I wonder why you would make a recipe when by simply reading the ingredients and steps, you should've realized it wouldn't be to your taste. Clearly, by reading the recipe, one can see that this is not a 'fresh and bright sauce', the kind you prefer. If cooking a sauce for hours is not your style, why did you choose this recipe when it states the prep+cook time is nearly 2 hours? I strongly dislike these types of reviews. I thought this was a fantastic recipe! item not reviewed by moderator and published
Bolognese is supposed to be thick, wet but not really runny. If you want runny, buy a jar of "spaghetti sauce" from the supermarket. item not reviewed by moderator and published
I suppose you are either American or British. This is exactly, at last, after many horror things I have seen here, the Bolognese. I would add some nutmeg, but it there it is.<br /> item not reviewed by moderator and published

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Recipe courtesy of Ellie Krieger