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The Best Bolognese Sauce Recipe

“Bolognese spaghetti” is one of the most popular Italian food all over the world but in Italy we rarely serve this sauce with spaghetti and we prefer to use tagliatelle or pappardelle instead.

Bolognese sauce is a rich sauce made with meat, vegetables and tomatoes and we traditionally serve it with pasta or polenta. 

In Italy we refer to this sauce as “Ragù”, term that comes from the French word “ragôuter”, which means “to awaken your mouth”.

According to historians, this beloved Italian dish was actually invented by the French during the Middle Age, who used to prepare a beef casserole with tomatoes and vegetables called “ragôut”.

During the Renaissance, this beef casserole was imported in Italy and legend says that a chef from Bologna had the idea to use ground meat instead of beef chunks, serving “ragôut” as a sauce and not as a main dish anymore.

In my family, my father is one in charge of making Ragù, and today I want to share with you his secret recipe. 

For us, Ragù is a festive dish (I’m not sure why, but probably because it takes some time to make) and we usually serve it with pappardelle pasta, ravioli, polenta or we use it to make classic lasagne.

Ingredients (serves 4):

  • -1 onion
  • -1 rib of celery 
  • -1 carrot
  • -150gr pancetta rashers (or bacon rashers)
  • -250gr minced pork
  • -350gr minced beef
  • -half a glass of white wine
  • -1 glass of milk
  • -400gr tomato passata 
  • -2 spoons tomato purée
  • -extra virgin olive oil 
  • -30gr butter
  • -salt
  • -pepper


First of all, finely chop you onion, carrot and celery.

In a saucepan over medium low heat, drizzle a good amount of olive oil, add butter and finally your chopped veggies. Cook very slowly for 10 minutes.

Cut your pancetta into small pieces then add it to your veggies. Cook for 5 more minutes until your pancetta starts melting.

It’s time to add your minced pork and beef. Cook for 5 minutes or until nice and brown. Stir occasionally.

Add your white wine and, when it evaporates, add your milk. Cook for 10 minutes, season with salt and pepper and finally add your tomato passata and tomato purée.

Lower the heat, cover with a lid and let your sauce cook very slowly for at least 2 hours, stirring occasionally. 

Your Bolognese sauce is finally ready. You can serve it with some pasta, polenta or you can use it to make a beautiful lasagna.

Buon appetito!

Angelo Coassin

Angelo Coassin is an Italian professional dancer, actor, passionate home cook, and creator of the page @cookingwithbello. In June 2021, Angelo launched his first cookbook “Bello’s Sexy Pasta”, a collection of his most delicious and authentic pasta recipes.