Pasta with Bolognese sauce

Of the Bolognese sauce - one of the classics par excellence of Italian cuisine – there are many stories and legends, as there are for Italian trifle, of which we have spoken elsewhere. The Bolognese sauce was invented by a cook from Bologna who worked in France at the court of Louis XIV: the sauce was not invented with minced meat, but from a stew with larger pieces of meat – it was only later that the chef decided to mince the meat instead and use the resulting sauce to mix with pasta, which proved a huge success. This became only one of many legends circulating about the origin of the Bolognese sauce. Another legend has it that the sauce was born in Bologna itself. The recipe that we propose today is that for a classic Bolognese sauce, although there are many other versions, more or less quick to make (remember that the traditional recipe takes 3-4 hours), and with other significant variations, such as the Neapolitan meat sauce, that nevertheless have nothing to do with the traditional Bolognese sauce.


270 minutes Total time
240 minutes Active time
Serves 6 persons
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Chop the onion, carrot and celery and fry with plenty of olive oil in a clay pot or heavy casserole. Add the ground beef and brown it with a dash of white wine. Add the diced fresh tomatoes and let them simmer for 15 minutes. Add the tomato passata and a little hot water. Add salt, sugar and pepper. Cook for 4 hours over low heat, stirring occasionally. Once ready add it to pasta, and there you have your Bolognese sauce!

The best match for Bolognese sauce is undoubtedly homemade tagliatelle: alternatively, you could use spaghetti or some other long pasta.
The origin of the Italian term for this meat sauce – ‘ragù’ – is, as you might guess, French: it comes from the word ‘ragoût’ which means ‘stew’.

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