Ragù Bolognese part 2 of 2

After researching the heck out of Bolognese Sauce in part 1, here are the results.

Ragu Bolognese (result)

This is, in hindsight, the general recipe we followed (based on the “official” recipe).


For the sauce:

  • Ground Veal / Pork (50/50)
  • Pancetta
  • Onions
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Tomato Paste
  • Dry White Wine
  • Beef Stock
  • Extra-virgine Olive Oil
  • Milk
  • Cream
  • Salt
  • Pepper

For the tagliatelle:

  • Flour
  • Eggs
  • Extra-virgin Olive Oil

And to finish off:

  • Parmezan Cheese


Part 1 is preparing and making the sauce:

  1. Cut the OnionsCarrots, and Celery brunoise.
  2. Stir-fry the three of them in some oil for about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the Pancetta and Ground Meat and stir-fry for another 8 minutes.
  4. Add Tomato Paste, some Extra-virgin Olive OilDry White Wine, and Beef Stock.
  5. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
  6. Add a splash of Milk.

Part 2 is letting the sauce get it’s flavor:

  1. Turn down the heat such that the sauce is simmering very slowly, leave it at that for about 4 to 6 hours, adding beef stock whenever it would get too dry.

Part 3 is making the pasta (the basics only, below won’t serve as a detailed pasta recipe):

  1. Mix Flour and Eggs and a little bit of Extra-virgin Olive Oil.
  2. Knead until mixed well (when pressing the dough it should bounce back a bit).
  3. Tightly wrap in foil and let it sit for 30 minutes.
  4. Use the Pasta Machine to roll out Tagliatelle.

Finishing up is as simple as:

  • Cooking the fresh pasta in a lot of very salty water;
  • Adding some Cream to the sauce and let it simmer along for a few minutes;
  • Draining the pasta, plating up, and grating some Parmezan Cheese on top.

So, how did the finished result turn out to be? Great, actually. Very different from “Spag Bol” indeed. We did decide that plain ground beef would’ve been nicer than veal, and that perhaps it would be wise to fry off the beef seperately. Oh and the fresh pasta makes quite a difference too.

Bon appetit!

Ragù Bolognese part 1 of 2

Apparently, northern european countries were doing it all wrong! There is no such thing as Spaghetti Bolognese, at least not in the country we think spawned the dish. Here are the main things that are wrong with “Spagbol”:

  • It is not served with spaghetti, but with tagliatelle (or if not that, with some other broad type of pasta).
  • It has no herbs or garlic in it. It’s a meaty sauce with some vegetables, but no herbs.
  • There are no fresh tomatoes in it. Instead, either paste or canned tomatoes are used.
  • It is not a quick dish. It has to sit on the stove for several hours.

Wow. I’ve been sinning against Italian cuisine for a long time!

So it’s time to set things straight, time to try out the real Bolognese Sauce. First things first, I needed to check if there’s an official recipe. The Wikipedia page is usually a good start. However, I’d rather be sure that I have a recipe as authentic as possible. So I went back to my old favorite cooking.stackexchange.com and asked what the key ingredients are.

The answer I accepted links to an “official” recipe by Accademia Italiana della Cucina. However, this didn’t hold me back from creating my own answer. I compared several prominent recipes, which led me to the following ingredient summary:

Must Haves:

  • Onion
  • Carrot
  • Celery
  • Ground Beef
  • Tomato Paste
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Should Haves:

  • Olive oil (usually extra-virgin, but the “official” source mentions regular oil)
  • Pancetta
  • Milk
  • Ground Veal and/or Pork †
  • Dry White Wine (incidentally recipes mention red wine instead)
  • Beef Stock (incidentally chicken stock instead)

† The only ingredient not in the “official” source’s recipe, that is found in most other recipes.

Honerable mentions:

  • Cream (the only “official” ingredient not found in most recipes)

Ingredients usually not mentioned:

  • Bacon (instead of pancetta)
  • Tin crushed tomatoes
  • Fresh tomatoes (never mentioned!)
  • Sieved tomatoes
  • Butter
  • Cloves
  • Bay Leaves
  • Nutmeg
  • Cinnamon
  • Basil
  • Oregano
  • Parsely
  • Sugar

So, armed with that knowledge, and a basic recipe, I’ll soon be attempting to make a classic Ragù Bolognese. With fresh tagliatelle.

To be continued…