Ragù Bolognese

A total classic, delicious and super easy to knock together. This incredible Ragu Bolognese will not disappoint. 



Prep time 20 minutes 


  • 350 g (12 oz) coarsely minced (ground) beef knuckle (round)
  • 150 g (5½ oz) coarsely minced (ground) pork shoulder
  • Olive oil, for cooking
  • 40 g (1½ oz) butter, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 brown onion, finely chopped
  • 1 small carrot, finely chopped
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) milk
  • 1 pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 400 g (14 oz) tinned Italian tomatoes
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 400 g (14 oz) dried spaghetti
  • Finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or parmesan cheese, to serve

NOTE: This ragù is even better served a day or two later, so making a double or even a triple batch of the ragù is a good idea. A larger batch is also perfect for use in a classic lasagne.

1. Heat a splash of oil in a heavy-based saucepan along with 30 g (1 oz) of the butter over medium–high heat, then add the celery, onion and carrot and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 4–5 minutes until the onion is tender and translucent. Add the minced beef and minced pork to the pan, season with salt and pepper and brown well for 4–5 minutes, breaking up any clumps of meat with the back of a wooden spoon.

2. Add the milk and nutmeg, season with salt and pepper and simmer gently for 15–20 minutes until milk reduces completely, then add the wine and simmer for 20–25 minutes until completely evaporated.

3. Add the tomatoes, breaking them up with a wooden spoon, then add the bay leaf and season with salt and pepper. Bring to a simmer and then reduce the heat to low so the mixture is barely simmering, with only the occasional bubble breaking the surface. Cook, uncovered and stirring occasionally, for 2–2½ hours until well flavoured. As it cooks the fat will separate from the meat and the mixture may dry out, so add 125 ml (4 fl oz/½ cup) of water every now and again, but make sure to evaporate all the liquid before serving. Check the seasoning.

4. When the ragù is ready, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of well-salted boiling water for 5–6 minutes until al dente, drain and return the spaghetti to the pan with 1–2 tablespoons of the cooking water. Add the ragù and remaining butter, toss to combine well and serve hot, scattered with Parmigiano Reggiano.