Ragu Bolognese! (aka Meat Sauce)


This dish is one I really enjoy preparing and eating. The idea of taking humble ingredients and creating something so satisfying is what cooking is all about. This recipe leans towards tradition with a couple of additions that I believe make this version perfect. This is hearty, versatile and should warming. Serve it with rigatoni, spaghetti, in lasagna or stuffed into shells…even make a Sloppy Giuseppe (Think Sloppy Joe) this is your new best friend.


4 lbs Ground Beef 80/20

1 lb Smoked Bacon, Chopped

3/4 cup Tomato Paste

3 cups Diced Sweet Yellow Onion (About 2)

1 cup Diced Celery

1 1/2 cup Diced Carrot

28 oz Crushed Plum Tomatoes, Canned is preferable

1 quart Beef Stock

2 cups Dry Red Wine, Chianti Works Well..Drink the Rest With Dinner

3 tsp Ground Clove

5 sprigs Fresh Sage Tied with Butchers Twine

2 tbl Diamond Crystal Kosher Salt, More May Be Needed

1 cup Whole Milk

4 oz Butter

1 tbl Freshly Ground Black Pepper

1/2 cup Virgin Olive Oil


  1. In a 12 qt. heavy enameled pot heat the olive oil until it begins to shimmer. Add bacon, stir constantly with a wooden spoon until it begins to render slightly. Now it's time to add the beef….don't rush it, take your time and break up large chunks. Brown all of the meat very well, this will take 20-25 minutes of constant attention. You will realize a deep, rich flavor from proper browning.

  2. Now that you've browned the meat well it's time to add the tomato paste. Clear an opening in the center of the pot and caramelize the paste until it changes to a bright red, around1-3 min. Fold the clove, carrot, onion, and celery into the browned meat, cook 10-12 minutes until vegetables are tender.

  3. Add the wine and reduce by half on medium/high heat. Now add stock, crushed tomatoes, sage, salt, and pepper, reduce heat to medium. Slowly simmer for 1.5-2 hours stirring every 10-15 minutes to prevent burning.

  4. Using a ladle, skim off some of the fat that has collected on the surface of the ragu. Add milk and butter and combine well.

  5. You can now use it right away or cool and freeze for later use.

Be sure to garnish with lots of freshly shaved parmesan!!

Happy Cooking!


For more tips and how to prepare this recipe follow the link below