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Bolognese Sauce/Meat Ragu Recipe

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 First things first.  Let us set the record straight. This is not the true ragu alla bolognese.  Ragu alla Bolognese is a slowly cooked meat-based sauce from the city of Bologna, Italy used specifically for lasagna or to dress the long ribbon like pasta, tagliatelle. Outside Italy, the phrase "Bolognese sauce" is often used to refer to a tomato-based sauce to which minced meat has been added, and are more similar in fact to the ragu alla napoletana.  

Serves 6-8 

¼ cup/60ml extra-virgin olive oil 

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped 

2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 

1 celery stalk, minced

1 carrot, minced 

1 pound ground meat, beef, turkey, or pork 

1 28 ounce/794g can crushed tomatoes

2 tablespoons/30ml tomato paste

1/2 cup/125ml white wine

¼ teaspoon/1ml cinnamon

½ teaspoon/2ml thyme

1 teaspoon/5ml oregano

small handful of flat leaf Italian parsley, chopped

8 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade 

1 teaspoon/5ml salt

½ teaspoon/5ml black pepper 


In a large sauce pan, add extra-virgin olive oil on medium heat. When hot, add the onion and garlic and sauté the onions become very soft, about 2-3 minutes. Add the celery, carrot, and spices sauté for 5 minutes. Add the ground meat. Sauté, stirring frequently and breaking up any large lumps and cook until meat is no longer pink, about 8 minutes. Pour in wine and reduce for 2-3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, cinnamon, thyme, oregano, parsley, basil, salt and black pepper.   Cook over medium low heat until the sauce thickens, 20-30 minutes.


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