Classic Bolognese Sauce (A.K.A. Ragu)

"The saying "good things come to those who wait" certainly applies to this recipe that I got from my Italian sister-in-law!! It goes well with most types of pasta (tortellini, rigatoni, etc.)and is perfect for lasagna or any other baked dish."
photo by Susan G. Oakton photo by Susan G. Oakton
photo by Susan G. Oakton
Ready In:
8hrs 10mins
3 cups




  • In order to prevent the ragu from reducing too quickly, use the heaviest, deepest pot that you own.
  • Melt butter& oil and saute onion& garlic over medium heat until just translucent.
  • Add celery& carrot and cook gently for about 2 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef, crumbling it in the pot with a fork.
  • Stir in salt.
  • Cook only until the meat loses its raw, red colour.
  • Add the wine, turn heat up to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the wine evaporates (1/2 hour to 45 minutes).
  • Turn the heat down to medium, add the milk& nutmeg and cook, stirring frequently, until all the milk evaporates (1/2 hour TO 45 minutes).
  • Add oregano, pepper& tomatoes and stir thoroughly.
  • When the tomatoes have started to boil, turn the heat down until the sauce cooks at the laziest simmer- just the occasional bubble.
  • Cook, uncovered, stirring occasionally, for at least 4 hours (5 hours is better).
  • If you can't watch the sauce for such a long stretch, you can interrupt this simmering time- but DO complete it in the same day!

Questions & Replies

Got a question? Share it with the community!


  1. Excellent. I've toyed with a couple of the ingredients here and there (i.e. i add a LOT of garlic - I love garlic!) and I use it in my lasagna.
  2. I have this exact recipe and serve it over fresh pasta, it is absoultley the BEST!!!!!


In the words of Tracy Byrd, "I'm from the country & I like it that way"!! On May 1, 2008 my husband and I started a new adventure. We'll be living in a 37 foot RV while our new home is under construction. Its out in the country on a dead end dirt road with lots of trees. For the next 4 months or so, most meals will be cooked on the BBQ and life will be full of challenges! We love spending quality time with our friends & family - especially the grandkids!! The photo is 4 generations - my 84 year old mother, myself, my daughter & my youngest granddaughter - taken at the end of 2006. I've participated in many contests & events here on Zaar but this is the first banner that I've posted. My thanks to Dreamgoddess for hosting the contest & SusieD for the banner design! <img src="">
View Full Profile

Find More Recipes