Bolognese Ragu / Sauce Recipe


      Many years ago when I was living in London, I owned a delicatessen nestled on a corner in a lovely young robust neighborhood. My Bolognese sauce, or Ragu as it is officially named in bologna, served with fresh egg tagliatelle pasta or gnocchi was amongst the most popular dishes served. Back then I posted the daily dishes on a black board, which changed every day. With time and at the request of many of many of my loyal customers, a menu was designed, though I love the old school black board and chalk, with my most popular dishes, and the tagliatelle with Bolognese sauce was amongst the winning dishes. When I moved to the UAE in 2010, my ragu made it to fame again, and I was asked again and again about the secret of my ragu.

     Today I will be sharing my sauce with all of you, but I would like to emphasise that this sauce originated from Bologna, Italy, and that it is called a ragu, and that the traditional way to serve it is with fresh tagliatelle and not spaghetti. Spaghetti Bolognese and meatball is the product of the infusion of the Italian and American cuisine just like tex-mex and the Chinese-American cuisine.

     This sauce is the base for many famous Italian dishes such as Lasagna, tagliatelle al ragu, manicotti, stuffed shells, crespelle, pasta al forno and many more.

The secret to a successful ragu is:

  1.  Using mincemeat with some fat around 85% lean.
  2.  Using a good quality of stewed tomatoes.
  3.  Simmering the ragu uncovered on a low fire for 2 to 3 hours. This is how I make it but as most people have no time half an hour covered as in this recipe gives a good result.



Yield: 1.5 liters

  • 1 kilogram ground beef, 85% lean
  • 2 big carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 3 stalks celery
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 270 grams tomato paste
  • 500 grams stewed tomatoes, chopped
  • 4 stems parsley
  • 1/2 liter water
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Himalayan salt
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil




* Place the onion, carrots, celery and garlic in a processor and pulse to a fine consistency.


* Heat the olive oil in a sauce pan and sauté the pulsed vegetables for 3 to 4 minutes stirring constantly.


* Add the mince beef and turn until the beef is no longer pink.


* Add the tomato paste, stewed tomato, parsley, salt, sugar and water. When it starts boiling, cook on medium heat for 30 minutes. If the liquid evaporates and the meat is not tender add a little more water.


* When it reaches a thick consistency, as seen in the picture, adjust the salt, remove the parsley stems and leave to cool.


  • The sauce can be kept in the freezer for up to 6 months.


Per Serving : 4187 Calories; 324g Fat (68.8% calories from fat); 193g Protein; 139g Carbohydrate; 33g Dietary Fiber; 850mg Cholesterol; 16043mg Sodium