Ragù Alla Bolognese - the Authentic Recipe

"I live in Bologna and this is the recipe from the Accademia italiana di cucina and by far the most authentic recipe around. Of course, in Bologna every mamma has her own adaptation. It's really wonderful, serve it with a wide egg pasta, tagliatelle is the traditional pasta."
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Ready In:
2hrs 30mins




  • Mince pancetta very finely or better yet grind it in a food processor.
  • Cook it on med heat in a small sauce pot (big enough for all the ingredients, don't burn it!
  • Finely Mince vegetables or grind in food processor.
  • Add vegetables to pan, and cook until onion is transparent. mix up a bit every once in a while.
  • Add ground meat.
  • When you hear the little popping noise of the beef cooking and it's a bit browned, add wine and tomato sauce lengthened with a bit of broth.
  • as it cooks, add a bit of the milk every once in a while or broth if you choose to use broth.
  • Adjust salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook covered on low heat for about 2 hours.
  • Optional: add a bit of cream at the last moment.

Questions & Replies

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  1. Wonderful recipe. My family and I loved this. I had to use fettucine as I didn't feel like making my tagliatelle. I used the milk and cream. I also used my food processor to chop it all up as suggested making this a very easy dish to make. Thanks for posting this recipe, I will be making this often.
  2. Yep. This is it. Perfect. I really liked how the recipe was written, too; it allows the cook a little latitude. Until now I used a similar recipe from the wonderful Ada Boni, which was slightly more complex (half ground beef, half ground pork, 1/4 c sausage, optional chopped chicken liver). But Leah's ragù is as tasty and much lighter and healthier. It freezes very well. And don't forget, a good ragù -- and this one is -- can be used as the basis for many other dishes, including lasagna bolognese, pasticcio di polenta, as a filling for Italian crepes (crespelle), etc. Complimenti!


I live in Bologna and am currently doing a masters in History and culture of food (storia e cultura dell'alimentazione) at the University of Bologna. It is a european master and classes are given by profesors from the 3 universities and we go abroad for a period of 3 months to: Univ. Bologna, Univ. de Barcelona (Spain), and Univ. Tours (France)
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