Classic Italian Ragu Bolognese Sauce

There are several versions of the Ragu sauce. There are some classic Italian versions and some more westernised ones. My preference leans towards one of the Italian classics. Ragu Bolognese is of the region of Bologna as the name implies. This version of the sauce uses fresh vegetables, such as the sweetness of carrots instead of using sugar. I’m personally not a fan of using sugar in cooking most savoury dishes, hence why this version is my favourite.

In addition to using carrots, I’ve also used red bell peppers for a richer flavour and colour. While for the use of tomatoes most recipes usually call for just the classic pureed tomato “Passata”. I opted to use a combination of freshly chopped tomatoes and the store-bought Passata from one of my favourite brands. Passata is ripened tomatoes that have been pureed and strained. Specifically, tomatoes have been passed through a grinding mill and strainer. Hence the name “Passata”.

The Essentials of a flavourful ragu:

There are several essentials to get a really rich and flavourful Ragu bolognese sauce without actually doing much. The obvious is the use of extra virgin olive oil, a good pureed tomato base and red wine. The not so obvious is the use of both pork and beef, the combination of both at a rough 3:1 ratio makes a great ragu sauce. Also, it is important to cook the sauce in a steel pan rather than the regular non-stick pan. This helps to draw out the flavour from the meats when browning as it sticks to the bottom of the pot. Finally and most importantly, there is nothing like a quick ragu sauce. Easy but not quick, the longer the sauce cooks, gives time for the flavours to blend richly and for the alcohol in the wine to burn out.

If you like this recipe, you might also like the recipe for Authentic Spaghetti alla Carbonara Romana.

Classic Italian Ragu Bolognese Sauce

Ragu bolognese sauce

Immaculate Ruému
The Classic Italian Ragu Bolognese sauce following the essential rules of the regional Bologna meal. With a touch of extra richness and flavour, no sugar.
4.82 from 11 votes
Cook Time 3 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12
Calories 223 kcal

Ingredients
  

  • 1 kg Minced Beef
  • 250 g Minced Pork
  • 3 Carrots (Roughly chopped in small cubes)
  • 1 Celery Stalk (Roughly chopped in small cubes)
  • 1 Red Onions (Roughly chopped in small cubes)
  • 2 Garlic Glove (Finely chopped)
  • 5 Plum Tomatoes (Roughly chopped in small cubes)
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper (Roughly chopped in small cubes)
  • ¼ cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 680 g Pureed tomatoes (passata) (not tomato paste)
  • 750 ml Red Wine
  • 2 Basil leaf
  • 2 tsp Salt

Instructions
 

  • Place a deep pot (preferably steel pot instead of non-stick) over medium-high heat. Toss in the minced pork followed by the minced beef. Stir together and cook for 10 minutes or until the juice from the meat reduces.
  • Simultaneously, Place a frying pan over medium-high heat. Pour in the olive oil and when hot add the chopped garlic, carrots, onions, celery and peppers. Reduce heat and let cook for 10 minutes.
  • Pour the cooked vegetables from the pan into the pot of meat. Also pour in the chopped tomatoes, cover with a lid and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Pour in the pureed tomatoes, followed by red wine. Cover with a lid and simmer on low-medium heat for 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours until the sauce reduces in half.
  • Pay attention to the sauce while its cooking and stir occasionally so it doesn't burn. Toss in 2 basil leaves at the last 10 minutes and salt to season. Serve and Enjoy.

Nutrition

Serving: 0g | Calories: 223kcal | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 0mg | Potassium: 0mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 0mg | Iron: 0mg
Keyword: bolognese, italian sauce, Ragu
Tried this recipe?Mention @Immaculateruemu or tag #iruemurecipes!

If you are also interested in learning about Nigerian food, I suggest you read “The Nigerian Jollof 101 – Extras & Essentials“.

18 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I was fortunate and very lucky to eat this Ragu. It was delicious ……and I’m hoping to recreate with Immaculate’s instructions.
    Give it a go too!
    You won’t regret it!

  2. 5 stars
    I love the flavours you have got going on here, you can’t beat a delicious classic ragu.

  3. 5 stars
    Definitely a ragu to try, all the flavours and fresh ingredients sound and look absolutely delish. I love adding loads of veggies too. Great recipe!

  4. 5 stars
    This sauce looks and sounds delicious! Thank you for taking the time to explain the significance behind each ingredient!

    1. Thank you! I always want my readers to understand why I cook the way I do, hence the details in the ingredients.

    1. Thanks Jacqueline 🙂 yes I’m aware Italians don’t add bell peppers to ragu. I currently live in Milan (also previously lived in Florence) and I have notice there so many variations to how the ragu sauce is made. The addition of bell peppers was just my personal touch for added sweetness and vibrancy

  5. 5 stars
    Sounds delicious! I love all of the colorful veggies that you use. The carrots and red peppers must lend a delicious sweetness, yum!

    1. Thank you:) I try to put as much details as I can, so that the recipe is easy to follow and where necessary anyone can make their own adaptations.

  6. 5 stars
    This reminds of a vegan bolognese I made not so long ago, but I didn’t have all the ingredients you have here. I think I am going to make some changes in my sauce next time with the ingredients you used. Thanks so much for sharing! 🙂

  7. 3 stars
    Celery was omitted from the recipe instructions in assembly, careless, the flavours were not bad but needed more depth of flavour, tomato puree would have i think. Tasted better. Not in my opinion the rave reviews posted here .

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Chef Immaculate Ruému

Hi, I’m Immaculate. A multifaceted food enthusiast. Michelin trained Chef, Published Food Writer and Recipe Developer with a passion for Nigerian and Italian cuisines and the fusion of both. A traveller on the food path to breaking global culinary boundaries and a lover of culture and innovation.

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