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There’s nothing better than cozying up with a bowl of bolognese.

It’s aromatic, hearty and comforting. Our version is full of flavor from all of the vegetables, with a savory tang from the tomato that doesn’t feel overpowering. You can adjust the meats based on the flavors you prefer: beef is hearty, veal is mild, and pork is rich. You can’t go wrong.

How to Make It

Difficulty: Moderate

Overall Time: 3 hrs

Prep Time: 30 min

Cook Time: 2 hrs 30 min

Serves: 8 to 10

  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
  • 4 oz (113 g) mild pancetta, very finely chopped
  • 2 onions, very finely chopped, about 2 cups
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and very finely chopped, about 1 cup
  • 2 large celery stalks, very finely chopped, about 1 cup
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
  • 1 tsp kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb lean ground beef
  • ½ lb ground veal
  • ½ lb lean ground pork
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 14 oz (398 mL) can Italian crushed tomatoes
  • 4 bay leaves
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 2 lb (908 g) dry Tagliatelle or Pappardelle pasta
  • Finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano

*Makes 6 heaping cups, enough to coat 2 lb dry pasta.

  1. Melt butter and oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add pancetta and cook, stirring occasionally, until fat renders and pancetta is golden, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Then, add onions, carrots, celery, and garlic. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until very soft and beginning to brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.
  2. Add ground meats, then break up with a wooden spoon. Cook, stirring occasionally, until any water cooks away and meat begin to brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Then, add wine and tomato paste. Scrape up all browned bits and cook, stirring often, until wine is absorbed, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the milk. Cook, stirring often, until absorbed, approximately 5 to 8 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes and bay leaves. Fill can with water, swirl to combine with any tomato pulp, then add to pot. Season to taste with pepper and freshly grated nutmeg. Bring to a boil, then reduce to medium-low and cover partially with a lid. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens, and meat is very tender, approximately 1 ½ to 2 hours. Discard bay leaves. You can make and refrigerate the Ragu Bolognese up to 5 days ahead.
  4. When the ragu Bolognese is almost done, cook pasta in a large pot of salted water, following package instructions, until al dente. Drain and reserve 2 cups pasta cooking water.
  5. Add ragu Bolognese and some reserved pasta water to the large pot with pasta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add more pasta water for a silkier sauce, if desired.
  6. Divide pasta between plates. Garnish with Parmigiano and a drizzle of oil.


Kitchen Tips

To make and serve this sauce on the same day for 4 hearty servings, cook 1 lb dry pasta and toss with half the sauce, about 3 cups. Save and freeze the remaining sauce for another day.

For a speedy weeknight meal prep solution, freeze sauce in individual portions, about ¾ cup each. Smaller portions of sauce thaw very quickly in the pan while cooking up pasta on another day.

How to enjoy it

For a more tomato-rich version of this sauce, replace the 14 oz (398 mL) can with a 28 oz (796 mL) can of crushed tomatoes, and reduce the water by half.

Classic Ragu Bolognese
Classic Ragu Bolognese by Casa de Suna

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