Ragù alla Bolognese

  • Prep Time: 30-45 minutes
  • Cook Time: 4 hours
  • Serves: 4


  • 300 g minced beef. The recommended cut is thin flank aka skirt (finta cartella) but any good quality mince will do.
  • 150 g unsmoked pancetta, minced very finely
  • 50 g carrot, finely chopped or minced
  • 50 g celery, finely chopped or minced
  • 50 g onion, finely chopped or minced
  • 30 g triple concentrated tomato purée (if using double concentrated, increase to 40 g)
  • 75 ml red or white wine
  • 180 ml fresh milk
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper


  1. Fry the pancetta gently in a little olive oil until it starts to release its fat.
  2. Add the vegetables and fry, stirring regularly, until the onions are transparent.
  3. Add the beef and cook until it is lightly browned. When it starts to make popping noises, it’s done.
  4. Add the tomato puree & the wine and mix well.
  5. Add the milk, little by little until it is completely absorbed.
  6. Season with salt and pepper, cover and cook very slowly for 3 to 4 hours.
  7. Stir occasionally and if it looks like drying out, add a little more milk.

Best served: Hot with a wide pasta

Preparation Notes

Serve with fettuccine or tagliatelle (you want a pasta with a large surface area which can hold onto the sauce).

Tomato purée is known as tomato paste in some countries.

The Academy allows the addition of Porcini mushrooms as an official variation.

Buffalo also makes a delicious alternative to the beef.

I usually quadruple this recipe and freeze the remainder.


  • Storage: Refrigerator for 2-3 days
  • Freezer: Freezes well.
  • Reheat: Microwave