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Bolognese Ragù

Recipe Date: August 31, 2020
Yield: 6 Servings
Prep: PT30M 30 minutes | Cook: 3 hours
Total Time: PT33M 3 hours 30 minutes
Difficulty: Medium
Measurements: Imperial (US)

One of northern Italy’s most beloved pasta sauces, ragù Bolognese develops its famous depth of flavor over hours of slow simmering. Like a fine Cabernet Sauvignon, it can’t be rushed. Its richness and creamy sweetness call for the chewy tannins of a youthful Cabernet Sauvignon, such as a recent vintage of Rutherford.


  • 1 carrot, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 1 celery stalk, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 ounces pancetta, cut into small dice
  • 12 ounces ground beef
  • 4 ounces ground veal or dark-meat turkey
  • 4 ounces ground pork
  • Sea or kosher salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 28 ounces canned whole tomatoes, finely chopped, juices reserved for another use
  • 1 pound pappardelle or linguine
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


In a food processor, pulse the carrot, celery, onion, and garlic into small pieces.

Heat the olive oil in large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the vegetables and sauté until softened but not browned.

Add the pancetta, ground meats, and a pinch of salt, and use a wooden spoon to break the ground meats into small pieces. Sauté, continuing to break up the meat, just until it is lightly browned.
Add the milk, bring to a simmer, and continue to simmer until the milk evaporates and only clear fat remains.

Add the stock, bring to simmer, and continue to simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.

Add the tomatoes, bring to a simmer, and reduce the heat to low so that sauce continues to simmer just barely with an occasional bubble or two at the surface. Cook uncovered, or partially covered, until the liquid has evaporated, 2 to 3 hours. Adjust the seasoning with salt.

Transfer the ragù to a large sauté pan and keep warm.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta, stir gently, and cook until al dente.
Transfer the pasta to the warm ragù and combine. Add pasta cooking water if needed to achieve a saucelike consistency.

Serve with a sprinkling of Parmigiano-Reggiano.