Ragù alla Bolognese Recipe – The Official Version!

Ragù alla Bolognese Recipe – The Official Version!

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Ragù alla Bolognese

On the 17th October 1982, the Bologna Delegation of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina, with the aim of continuing and respecting Bolognese gastronomic traditions both in Italy and abroad, deposited the official recipe for Ragù Bolognese (better known abroad as Bolognese Sauce) with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce.Here is the official recipe for 4 people:

300 g coarsely minced/ground beef (preferably lean)
150g pancetta, finely chopped
50g golden onion, finely chopped
50g celery, finely chopped
50g carrot, finely chopped
300g passata di pomodoro or pelati
½ glass dry white wine (preferably from Emilia Romagna!)
½ glass whole milk
a dash meat stock
olive oil or butter
salt & pepper
½ glass whipping cream (optional)
First, lightly fry the pancetta in a heavy-based saucepan until it is cooked through (not crispy). Add 3 tablespoons olive oil OR 50g butter, heat and add the chopped onion, celery and carrot. Leave this to fry very slowly on low heat until the juices become creamy.Add the minced beef, mix well and fry lightly on a medium heat until it is cooked through. Turn up the heat, add the wine and cook until it has evaporated. Turn down the heat.

Add the tomatoes , mix thoroughly and simmer for at least two hours. The local ‘nonne’ or grandmothers say that when the ragù is ready ‘it calls you’. This is usually after it has been simmering for at least 5/6 hours (which will guarantee a truly superior ragù – do not be afraid to leave it this long). Stir occasionally and add a little broth if it gets too dry. Add salt and pepper when finished.

According to the Bolognese tradition, some people add cream when the ragù is finished if it is used as a condiment for ‘dry’ pasta. Never to be used with cream for Tagliatelle!


Photo by Nicola Boi



About the author:

Obsessed with fine food, admirer of beautiful cars, mother of one child and two cats and cake baker for friends. I have been living in the Bolognese hills for 15 years and have fallen in love with everything that defines Emilia Romagna....and its wonderful food.

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