Ragù alla Bolognese

A go to Bolognese or Ragù sauce is an absolute must in my world. There are countless times when my clients just want a low key,  comforting meal and Bolognese is usually the answer! But of course, I have to make it really fabulously because well, that’s what they are paying me for!

It’s a combination of a Ragù sauce and a Béchamel sauce that I originally used a few years ago for a Lasagna dish. The addition of the Béchamel just gives it that extra creamy flavor and let’s be real here people, what isn’t better with a little butter, flour and milk???

This Bolognese is a total keeper. Made with both beef and pork and a giant glug of wine, it’s pretty much a winner in my book. Not to mention it makes a whole lotta sauce! Which is perfect because I can stick half of it in the freezer for a rainy day when I am in a crunch either at home or at work!

Ragù alla Bolognese

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 120 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 10 minutes

Yield: Serves 8

Ragù alla Bolognese


  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 2/3 cups milk
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated nutmeg to taste
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 medium onion, minced
  • 3 medium stalk celery with leaves, minced
  • 3 small carrot, minced
  • 10 ounces ground pork
  • 10 oz ounces ground beef
  • 2 ounce thinly sliced Prosciutto, chopped
  • 2/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 2 cups milk
  • 3 cups canned plum tomatoes, drained
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


  1. To prepare the Béchamel: In a large saucepan melt the butter over medium hight heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a whisk, for 3 minutes. Slowly add the milk, and whisk together. Add the grated nutmeg. Whisk and cook over medium heat for several minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.
  2. To prepare the Ragù: Heat the olive oil in a 12 inch dutch oven over medium-high heat.
  3. Add the pancetta and chopped vegetables and sauté, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add all the meats together, including the prosciutto. Stir into the pan and slowly brown over medium heat. Stir often, scooping under the meats with the wooden spatula. Cook 15 minutes, or until the meats are a deep brown. Turn the contents of the skillet into a strainer and shake out the fat. Put them into the dutch oven and set over medium heat.
  5. Add the wine to the dutch oven, lowering the heat so the sauce bubbles quietly. Stir occasionally until the wine has reduced by half, about 3 minutes. Scrape up the brown glaze as the wine bubbles.
  6. Stir ½ cup stock into the dutch oven and let it bubble slowly, 10 minutes, or until totally evaporated. Repeat with another ½ cup stock. Stir in the last 1/2 cup stock along with the milk. Adjust heat so the liquid bubbles very slowly. Partially cover the pot, and cook 1 hour. Stir frequently to check for sticking.
  7. Add the tomatoes, crushing them as they go into the pot. Cook uncovered, at a very slow bubble for another 45 minutes, or until the sauce resembles a thick, meaty stew. Season with salt and pepper.
  8. Lastly, add the Béchamel sauce into the Ragù and combine with a wooden spoon. Serve over pasta or gnocchi.

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  1. Seriously. What is better than a bowl of ragu? Nothin’ that’s what. Thank you for this recipe. This seems to be incredibly easy–which makes me think I might have to go make this ASAP! Yay!

  2. Weirdly this is exactly what I am making for dinner tonight. Mine has beef and pork, but I have veal instead of prosciutto and I always add a touch of milk. Love the synchronicity. GREG

  3. So nice to see an authentic recipe for ragù alla Bolognese! Brava – and now, thanks to you, I have one! When I was in Bologna, I was told that they never use garlic – too overpowering for the sauce. And tradition is so strong there! he combination of the milk with the meats and tomatoes is what does it for me! Thanks so much!

  4. Love this old, standard Ragu Bolognese. And there’s no question of what wine to serve it with…a good old Chianti. There is a reason why Italian food goes with Italian wines.

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