Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce (Ragú sauce): classic and my mom’s version

Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce (Ragú sauce)

Ragù (as Italians call it) or Bolognese is the top italian sauce for pasta.
It has simple ingredients, it’s easy even if you’re not very good in the kitchen, but people still think that it’s hard to make.
You just need 5-6 hours of your free time, and in these hours you can do whatever you want, just have a look and stir ragù every 2 hours, that’s it!


ragu bolognese best italian sauce meat

Italian Academy of Cuisine documented a recipe for “Ragù classico Bolognese” (classic Bolognese sauce), and subsequently recorded and deposited it with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce.

What I’m writing here is not this version, that you can find googling, but is a recipe that a real Bolognese housewife tought me and I think it’s better (there are slightest differences).
The other one is my mom’s version (that obviously I think it’s the best but… you tell me!), anyway every family has their own version, so wherever you eat it’s always different in some ways.
I prefer using the classic version over crostini toast or crispy polenta squares, while my mom’s ragù (I think) is better for pasta.

Ragù alla Bolognese is traditionally served with tagliatelle pasta (medium noodles made with eggs) and although the saying goes “serving spaghetti with Bolognese sauce is a sign of mediocrity in the understanding of Italian cuisine” I have to tell you that I usually put ragú over spaghetti and every kind of pasta (and I’m not the only one) because are really good too and I don’t always eat egg-pasta because it’s too caloric, so I think that it’s not a sign of mediocrity at all!
Anyway… eat spaghetti with ragù and call them “spaghetti al ragù” (spaghetti with ragù sauce) instead of “spaghetti Bolognese” (this term is pure invention and really shudder italians) 😀 .

The secret for a special ragù is the long cooking time.
It can be ready after 2 hours but it will be very bland, I suggest you to cook longer than 4 hours to have all the ingredients’ flavors mixed together and thus forming a delicious ragù (I always cook it for 6 hours, the best), trust me!

NEW UPDATE: click here for my Ultimate Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce – the Great Italian Sauce!

So let’s begin!

Difficulty: easy
Preparation: 15 minutes Cooking Time: 4-6 hours
Yield: 8 servings

ragu bolognese sauce ingredients

Classic Ragù Recipe – Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 300 grams or 10 ounces or 3 cups soffritto vegetables (150 grams or 5.30 ounces or 1 1/2 cups onion, 75 grams or 2.60 ounces or 3/4 cup ounces celery, 75 grams or 2.60 ounces or 3/4 cup carrot, finely chopped)
  • 600 grams / 21 ounces ground quality beef (94% lean if possible)
  • 2 little north-italian sausages grounded (with garlic, no fennel no anise no pepper flakes) – if you cannot find them just add 1 garlic clove
  • 1/2 cup red wine (no bubbles)
  • 2 tbsp pure tomato paste dissolved in 2 cups of stock or water plus one bouillon cube (or 400 grams / 14 ounces tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup of stock or water plus one bouillon cube)

Classic Ragù Recipe – Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy, bottomed pot and fry vegetables for 6-8 minutes or until softened, scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally;
  2. add the meat, breaking it up with a fork, cook until it’s browned all over (5-10 minutes) and all the water, that the meat releases, is evaporated (this is very important for the final taste of the sauce!);
  3. add the wine and let the liquid reduce for 2-3 minutes or until you no longer smell alcohol; ragu brown white bolognese sauce
  4. add tomato paste/sauce, stock or water (plus one bouillon cube) and simmer ragù for at least 6 hours stirring occasionally (about every 1 1/2 hours).

Done! just 4 points to follow. It’s not complicated at all, so have a try and let me know what recipe do you prefer! (Below there’s my mum’s recipe).

authentic best bolognese sauce italian

My mom’s Ragù Recipe – Ingredients:

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 300 grams or 10 ounces or 3 cups soffritto vegetables (150 grams or 5.30 ounces or 1 1/2 cups onion, 75 grams or 2.60 ounces or 3/4 cup ounces celery, 75 grams or 2.60 ounces or 3/4 cup carrot, finely chopped)
  • 600 grams / 21 ounces ground quality beef (94% lean if possible)
  • 2 tbsp pure tomato paste dissolved in 2 cups of stock or water plus one bouillon cube (or 400 grams / 14 ounces tomato sauce plus 1/2 cup of stock or water plus one bouillon cube)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf

My mom’s Ragù Recipe – Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy, bottomed pot and fry vegetables for 6-8 minutes or until softened, scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally;
  2. add the meat, breaking it up with a fork, cook until it’s browned all over (5-10 minutes) and all the water, that the meat releases, is evaporated (this is very important for the final taste of the sauce!);
  3. add skinned garlic cloves and bay leaf (remember to remove one clove after 2 hours of cooking time);
  4. add tomato paste/sauce, stock or water (plus one bouillon cube) and simmer ragù for at least 6 hours stirring occasionally (about every 1 1/2 hours).

authentic italian sauce ragu bolognese

Note: you can put Bolognese sauce in jars and freeze, so you can do a big batch that will last longer.

Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce (Ragú sauce): classic and my mom's version
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
My mom's Bolognese sauce. Easy to make, just 4 steps!
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 8
Ingredients
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 300 grams or 10 ounces or 3 cups soffritto vegetables (150 grams or 5.30 ounces or 1½ cups onion, 75 grams or 2.60 ounces or ¾ cup ounces celery, 75 grams or 2.60 ounces or ¾ cup carrot, finely chopped)
  • 600 grams / 21 ounces ground quality beef (94% lean if possible)
  • 2 tbsp pure tomato paste dissolved in 2 cups of stock or water plus one bouillon cube (or 400 grams / 14 ounces tomato sauce plus ½ cup of stock or water plus one bouillon cube)
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
Instructions
  1. Heat the oil and butter in a heavy, bottomed pot and fry vegetables for 6-8 minutes or until softened, scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally;
  2. Add the meat, breaking it up with a fork, cook until it's browned all over (5-10 minutes) and all the water, that the meat releases, is evaporated (this is very important for the final taste of the sauce!);
  3. Add skinned garlic cloves and bay leaf (remember to remove one clove after 2 hours of cooking time);
  4. Add tomato paste/sauce, stock or water (plus one bouillon cube) and simmer ragù for at least 6 hours stirring occasionally (about every 1½ hours).

7 thoughts on “Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce (Ragú sauce): classic and my mom’s version

  1. They both sound easy and wonderful to me. I love cooking long-simmering sauces and soups on Sundays during the winter, and I’ll have to try these recipes soon.

Have you tried my recipe? Please leave a comment!