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4.91 from 10 votes

Ragù alla Bolognese

The most perfect meat sauce in all the land. Trust me - it puts everything else to shame!
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bolognese sauce, red sauce with meat, best red sauce recipe, ragu recipe, bechamel with bolognese, how to make perfect bolognese sauce
Servings: 6 people
Author: Gaby


For the Béchamel

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 4 tablespoons flour
  • 2 2/3 cups milk
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste

For the Ragù

  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3 medium stalk celery with leaves, finely diced
  • 3 small carrot, finely diced
  • 6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 10 ounces ground pork
  • 10 ounces ground beef
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2/3 cup dry red wine
  • 1 cup half and half (or heavy cream or milk)
  • 1 28-ounce can san marzano tomatoes, hand crushed
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Recommended for serving

  • 1-2 pounds cooked fresh fettucine pasta, or any other pasta, gnocchi etc of your choosing


For 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 parm. Whisk and cook over medium heat for several minutes, until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.

For the Ragù

  • Heat the olive oil in a 12 inch dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the pancetta and chopped vegetables and sauté, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, about 10 minutes. Add in the garlic and sauté for 30 seconds before adding in the meat. Stir the meat into the pan and slowly brown over medium heat, breaking up with a wooden spoon. Stir often for about 15 minutes, or until the meats are a deep brown. Add the tomato paste and stir to combine.
  • 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 bits as the wine bubbles. Stir in the half and half. Adjust heat so the liquid bubbles very slowly. Partially cover the pot, and cook for 30 minutes. Stir frequently to check for sticking. Add the tomatoes, crushing them as they go into the pot. Cook uncovered, at a very slow bubble for another 20-30 minutes, or until the sauce resembles a thick, meaty stew. Season with salt and pepper
  • Once cooked, stir in the Béchamel sauce into the meat sauce and combine with a wooden spoon until fully combined. Add the cooked fresh pasta and stir to combine.