Italian Sauce


Ragù alla Bolognese is a meat based sauce which usually accompanies pasta or polenta dishes.

The term derives from the French “ragôuter” which can be translated as “to awaken the appetite”.

Widespread in the whole Emilia region, not only in Bologna, it is one of the most famous Italian recipes abroad, also thanks to the unfortunate matching with spaghetti (those “spaghetti alla bolognese” which would make every true Emilian shudder).


In the Bolognese sauce there are no aromas: no bay leaves, parsley, rosemary, garlic or hot peppers.

Not even nutmeg is used in the codified version, although many Emilian families use it.





  • 300 g (10.58 oz) of coarsely minced beef
  • 150 g (5.29) of pork belly-pork rind
  • 50 g (1.76 oz) of yellow carrot
  • 50 g (1.76 oz) of celery stalk
  • 30 g (1.06 oz) of onion
  • 300 g (10.58 oz)  of tomato puree or peeled tomatoes
  • ½ glass of dry white wine
  • ½ glass of whole milk
  • little broth
  • extra virgin olive oil or butter
  • salt and  pepper to taste
  • ½ glass of liquid whipping cream (optional)




Melt, in a pan, possibly earthenware or thick aluminum, about 7.87 inches, the pork rind first cut into cubes and then finely chopped with a crescent moon.

Add 3 tablespoons of oil or 3 tbsp+2 tsp of butter and the finely chopped herbs and let it wilt gently.

Add the minced meat and mix well with a ladle, browning it until it “sizzles”.

Wet with the wine and stir gently until it has completely evaporated.

Add the tomato puree or peeled tomatoes, cover and simmer slowly for about 2 hours, adding broth when necessary.

Towards the end, add the milk to soften the acidity of the tomatoes.

Season with salt and pepper.

At the end, when the sauce is ready, according to Bolognese usage, it is used to add cream if it is used to season dry pasta.

This is the “updated” recipe of the real Ragù alla Bolognese, deposited on October 17, 1982 by the Bologna delegation of the Italian Academy of Cuisine at the Bologna Chamber of Commerce.

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