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Ragù alla Bolognese

Photos: Scott Phillips

Yield: Yields about 4-1/2 cups, enough for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 pounds of pasta.

Servings: six to eight.

Gently toss fresh or dried pasta with this ragù the Italian way, ladling it in gradually so it evenly coats the noodles but doesn’t overwhelm or saturate them.


  • 2 Tbs. unsalted butter
  • 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1/2 medium carrot, peeled and finely diced
  • 1 medium rib celery, finely diced
  • 1 lb. ground pork (preferably from the shoulder)
  • 1/4 lb. thickly sliced prosciutto di Parma, very finely diced
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 can (28 oz.) Italian plum tomatoes with their juices, passed through a food mill to remove their seeds
  • 1 cup homemade or low-salt canned chicken broth or beef broth
  • 1/2 cup hot milk

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size based on eight servings without pasta
  • Calories (kcal) : 280
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 190
  • Fat (g): 21
  • Saturated Fat (g): 8
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 10
  • Cholesterol (mg): 65
  • Sodium (mg): 620
  • Carbohydrates (g): 7
  • Fiber (g): 1
  • Protein (g): 15


  • Heat the butter and oil in a small Dutch oven or a wide, heavy-based saucepan over medium heat. When the butter begins to foam, add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re lightly golden and soft, 5 to 7 min. Raise the heat to high, add the pork and prosciutto, and season lightly with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring and breaking up the pork with a large spoon until the meat loses its raw color, 3 to 5 min. (the meat won’t brown). Add the wine and cook, stirring, until it’s almost completely reduced, 3 to 5 min.
    Cook the finely diced carrots, onions, and celery in butter and oil until the vegetables are soft and turn light brown.
  • Add the tomatoes and the broth. As soon as the liquid comes to a boil, reduce the heat to low and cook the sauce at a bare simmer for 2 hours. Add the hot milk and simmer half an hour longer, stirring occasionally. At this point, the sauce should have a thick but saucy consistency and a light reddish-brown color. If the sauce has thickened before the cooking time is up, cover the pot. If the sauce is still too thin at the end of cooking, continue to simmer gently, uncovered, until it’s thick. Taste and adjust the seasonings before serving tossed with your favorite pasta.
    Adding 1/2 cup whole milk to the reduced sauce smooths out and enriches its flavor.

For wine choices when serving Ragù alla Bolognese, try pouring something Italian that’s light and fruity, such as a Valpolicella, a Dolcetto, or a Sangiovese di Romagna.


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Reviews (10 reviews)

  • chitownguy | 03/18/2022

    I followed the directions but I have to say, I was disappointed. It just didn't seem to have enough flavor. Maybe it's just me.

  • MML | 10/10/2021

    I’ve made this many, many, many times for many different friends; I pretty much follow the recipe except I add more celery and carrots. Everyone RAVES about it and wants the recipe. It’s one of the most requested meals from my family. It also freezes extremely well.

  • User avater
    mowgli | 09/30/2012

    This is delicious! I didn't change anything. A real keeper.

  • Rockermom | 07/12/2012

    Very easy recipe. Delicious meal.

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