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Ragu Bolognese

Bolognese meat sauce

The recipe for Bolognese meat sauce explained step by step.

17 November, 2014
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Type of dish

serves for


total time

0 HR 0 MIN


Beef mince
300 g
Pork Sausages
200 g
Tomato sauce
300 ml
1, large
1 stick
Red wine
1 glass
5 leaves
Red wine
1 glass
3 leaves
2 sprigs


Lasagne, tagliatelle, tortellini and cannelloni wouldn’t exist without Bolognese meat sauce. This Italian sauce has become an iconic recipe worldwide, but how is the authentic version made? Here it is, in a few easy steps. Find out how!

Step 01

Step 1

To make Bolognese meat sauce, start by chopping the vegetables. Trim the carrots both ends, cut them into matchstick shapes and then dice. Remove the celery fibres with the help of a potato peeler and then dice the celery in the same way as the carrots.

Step 02

step 3

Peel the onion and cut it in half. Make two horizontal cuts leaving the final section intact, followed by downward cuts in the opposite direction. Now, all you need do is chop the onion finely. 

Step 03

Once all the vegetables have been diced, place them in a large saucepan with a drizzle of oil and let them fry over a gentle heat until golden brown.

Step 04

step 3

Once all the vegetables have been diced, place them in a large saucepan with a drizzle of oil and let them fry over a gentle heat until golden brown.

Step 05

step 6

In the meantime, prepare the bouquet garni whose purpose is to add aroma to your Bolognese sauce. Tie together a small bunch of herbs using kitchen string.  


Step 06

step 5

Cut through the sausage casing, remove the meat and crumble it.   

Step 07

step 6

When the vegetables are ready, add the two meats to the pan and mix thoroughly.

Step 08

Step 7

Brown the meat evenly and then pour in the white wine.  Let the alcohol evaporate before adding the tomato sauce and the bouquet garni. Season with salt and pepper. Cook the meat sauce over a gentle heat for at least 3 hours, stirring from time to time. Should it become too dry, add a spoonful or two of water while it is cooking.

Useful tips and interesting facts

Like any other traditional recipe, every household has its own version of Bolognese meat sauce. Some add milk towards the end of the cooking process while others use no other meat but beef and some even prefer to use tomato purée instead of tomato sauce. One thing is sure, though: Bolognese meat sauce must cook at length over a gentle heat. This is a special Sunday recipe for serving with fresh egg pasta so, in view of this important function, it deserves to be cooked slowly and lovingly. A tip for keeping your kitchen neat and tidy as you work? Always have a bowl on your worktop for collecting the scraps. This will keep your workplace clean and well organized. 


There are no real variants of Bolognese sauce, but you can prepare a so-called “white” meat sauce (veal, rabbit etc.) for serving with pasta in a way that is traditional, yet alternative.  The method is just the same but, in this case, it is advisable to use white wine. Once the alcohol has evaporated, the white meat sauce is ready. Toss the pasta with the sauce and serve with plenty of grated Parmigiano Reggiano. 



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