Ragu all Bolognese


Mangia Pasta!

Published by William Morrow

This image courtesy of Joseph DeLeo

A raqu is a slow-simmering meat sauce and is a classic of Bolognese cooking, with many variations. The long, slow cooking in an earthenware pot results in a hearty, dense sauce with intense flavor that is the perfect foil for chunky-style pasta such as rigatoni rigati (rigatoni with lines) or ziti, or as the filling for lasagne, or as the sauce for a layered tortellini timballo (mold) or pasticcio (pasta filled pie).


Total Timeunder 2 hours


Type of Dishpasta sauce, sauces


  • 2 ounces pancetta
  • 1 small onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 medium-size carrot, peeled
  • 1 medium-size rib celery
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 pound ground pork or beef
  • Fine sea salt to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 14 ounces tomatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
  • ½ cup milk or heavy cream


  1. Mince the pancetta, oruon, carrot, and celery together. Set aside.

  2. Heat the olive oil in a medium-size earthenware, cast-iron, or other heavy-duty pot. Over low heat, cook the minced vegetable mixture very slowly, uncovered, for 30 minutes. Add the ground meat, salt, and pepper and brown the meat completely. Stir in the wine and let it completely evaporate. Stir in the tomatoes, cover the pot, and cook the ragu over very low heat for 45 minutes. Stir in the milk or cream and heat through.


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