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North Italian Meat Sauce (Ragu Bolognese)

Rated as 4.43 out of 5 Stars

"This recipe comes from Bologna, Italy. One unusual characteristic of this sauce is that there is no garlic in it--but there is a hint of ground nutmeg. Serve over hot cooked pasta."
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1 h 30 m servings 135
Original recipe yields 28 servings (3 1/2 quarts)


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  1. In a large skillet, melt 2 tablespoons butter over medium heat. Add pancetta, onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a heavy large saucepan.
  2. In same skillet, heat olive oil. Cook ground beef and pork over medium heat, stirring to break up any lumps, until browned. Pour in the wine, increase the heat and boil briskly, stirring constantly, until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Transfer ground meat mixture to the saucepan with the pancetta and vegetables. Set skillet aside.
  3. Stir the beef stock and tomato paste into the saucepan. Bring sauce to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  4. Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat in the original skillet. Add chicken livers and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until firm and lightly browned. Remove livers from skillet and dice. Set aside and add to sauce 10 minutes before it is done. A few minutes before serving, stir in the cream and let it heat through. Season sauce with nutmeg, salt, and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 135 calories; 11.5 1.9 5.3 58 167 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 46
  1. 60 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

Great tasting sauce! I left out the chicken livers so I increased the amount of ground beef and ground pork to make up for it. I used a whole small can of tomato paste. The longer this simmer...

Most helpful critical review

Im sorry but too much work and this does not make 28

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Great tasting sauce! I left out the chicken livers so I increased the amount of ground beef and ground pork to make up for it. I used a whole small can of tomato paste. The longer this simmer...

This is so rich and lovely and filling and beautiful! Just gorgeous gorgeous stuff. I make a HUGE potful and eat it for lunch and dinner for three days in a row. And when it's gone I want to ...

Recipes for Bolognese sauce abound - they are as abundant and as varied as there are Italian cooks. Outside of a few fundamentals, there is no real right or wrong. First and foremost, it is a...

This is a great Bolognese! I agree with a previous review that a Cuisinart really helps with the chopping. The last time I made this I adapted it to what I had around the house and my husband ...

I have made this recipe many times with great success. I usually follow the recipe amounts and procedures precisely, but after the first time around I leave out the chicken livers. It's just as ...

If you're looking for a red sauce, this is not it! It's very rich, very very good. I don't do the chicken livers anymore - not a fan. A cuisinart definitely helps in the chopping! This isn't...

This recipe is pretty easy and tastes great. My two friends who enjoyed it with me loved it! I served mine with linguine, but I would recommend ziti - this sauce is extremely thick and needs p...

I use prosicutto instead of ham, used 1/2 lb of Italian sausage for 1/2 lb of the pork, and slipped in some beef short ribs for some of the ground beef.. The secret to great Ragu sauce is low a...

Excellent recipe. I used all beef since I didnt have pork. Also used chicken broth instead of beef stock - well, it was not detectable. Also used milk instead of cream - nice creamy finish. ...