Authentic Bolognese ragu

Authentic Bolognese ragu

OMG! I Can Eat That?
Mark Roper

I know you’ll all have your own special Bolognese recipe… you might use beef mince, tomato paste, carrots and garlic, some of you may add a little sugar, some red wine or even cinnamon! I also had my own recipe… that is until I actually went to Bologna. Yep, the home of Bolognese sauce. And get this. They are so obsessed with protecting the integrity of the recipe that in 1982 the Bolognese chapter of the Accademia Italiana della Cucina decreed THIS is the official recipe.

For a start, it’s much paler than the bright red-staining gunk we’re used to. And they use veal and pork mince — it’s softer and has a lovely flavour. Oh, and they add milk. But before you scoff, as an experiment, why don’t you give it a try? If you use wonderful spaghetti squash when it’s in season, man it’s good! If you can’t get spaghetti squash, try peeled ribbons of steamed zucchini or carrot. And top with a little shaved parmesan.


Quantity Ingredient
400g ground lean veal
300g ground lean pork
sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil
150g pancetta, finely diced
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 celery sticks, diced
2 bay leaves
300ml dry white wine
400g tomato passata
4 tablespoons salt-reduced beef stock
300ml skim milk
freshly ground pepper


  1. Combine the two meats with a little sea salt and pepper and set aside, covered, in the fridge.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy-based saucepan over low heat. Cook the pancetta over a low flame until the fat starts to melt. Add the onion and cook for about 5 minutes. Don’t let the onion turn golden.
  3. Add the carrot, celery and bay leaves and cook for a further 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
  4. Turn the heat up and add the white wine. Let it sizzle. Add the meat and cook until the meat just starts to change colour.
  5. Add the passata and stock to the pot. Turn down the flame and simmer uncovered for about 2 hours. If it looks like it is losing too much moisture, add a bit more stock.
  6. After about 2 hours, add the milk, a little at a time, stirring and cooking over a low heat for a further 45 minutes.
  7. Season to taste and serve with steamed spaghetti squash, or steamed ribbons of zucchini or carrot.
OMG I Can Eat That
low fat
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