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Classic Bolognese Ragù

Classic Bolognese Ragù ~ a meaty sauce for pasta made with ground beef and pork, simmered in a soffritto with broth, tomato paste, wine and milk. 
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword bolognese, bolognese ragu, classic ragu
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 50 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 673kcal
Author Kelly ~ the hungry bluebird


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely chopped, about 1½ cups (see notes below)
  • 2 ribs celery, finely chopped, about 1 cup (see notes below)
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped, about ¾ cup (see notes below)
  • 6 oz ground beef, 85% lean (I used ground sirloin)
  • 6 oz ground pork (could use veal instead)
  • 4 oz thinly sliced pancetta, finely chopped
  • ½ cup dry red wine
  • 3 cups (about) chicken stock, divided
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 lb pasta, preferably pappardelle, tagliatelle or fettuccine
  • Grated Parmesan, for serving


  • Heat oil in a large heavy pot over medium-high heat.  Add onions, celery and carrots and sauté until soft, about 8 minutes.  Add beef, pork and pancetta and continue sautéing, breaking up the meat as it cooks to a small crumble, until browned, another 15 minutes.
  • Add wine and boil for 1 minute, stirring and scraping up any browned bits.  Add 2½ cups chicken stock and tomato paste, stir to combine.  Reduce heat to very low and cook at a gentle simmer, stirring occasionally, for 1½ hours.  Season with salt and pepper.
  • In a small saucepan, bring milk to a simmer.  Gradually add hot milk to the sauce, a little at a time and stirring to blend.  Cover with lid slightly ajar and simmer another 45 minutes until the milk is completely absorbed.  If needed, add more stock by ¼-cupfuls to thin (I did not find this necessary).
  • Cook pasta in large pot of salted water until 1 minute shy of al dente.  Drain, reserving ½ cup of pasta cooking water.  Transfer ragù to large skillet over medium-high heat.  Add pasta and toss to coat. Add reserved pasta water, a little at a time, as necessary, if it seems too dry.  Plate and serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


  • I find the easiest way to get finely chopped vegetables for this soffritto is to use the food processor.  Roughly chop the vegetables and process, one at a time, until very finely chopped.
  • I froze some of the Bolognese and when I thawed and reheated it, I used some more chicken stock to thin the sauce a bit.


Calories: 673kcal | Carbohydrates: 68g | Protein: 28g | Fat: 30g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 125mg | Sodium: 452mg | Potassium: 801mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 3705IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 114mg | Iron: 3mg