Basic Ragù Bolognese Recipe

16 servings


3 hours 45 minutes

total time


2 packets unflavored powdered gelatin (1/2 ounce; 15g)

2 cups (475ml) homemade or store-bought low-sodium broth

3 tablespoons (45g) unsalted butter

2 large carrots (about 375g; 12 ounces), peeled and finely minced (see note)

3 medium celery ribs (about 240g; 8 ounces); finely minced (see note)

2 medium yellow onions (about 480g; 1 pound), finely minced (see note)

4 pounds (1.8kg) ground meat, either all beef or 2 pounds beef with 1 pound each ground pork and veal, divided (see note)

1/4 cup (60ml) tomato paste

1 1/2 cups (350ml) dry white or red wine

2 bay leaves

Kosher salt

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon (3ml) Asian fish sauce

1/2 cup (120ml) heavy cream


In a wide container, sprinkle gelatin on top of stock and set aside.

In a large Dutch oven, melt butter over medium-high heat until foaming. Add carrots, celery, and onion and cook, stirring, until translucent, about 6 minutes. Add half (2 pounds) of the ground meat and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up any large pieces as you go, until well browned on bottom of pot, about 15 minutes.

Add remaining 2 pounds meat and cook, stirring and scraping bottom of pot while breaking up the meat into very small pieces, until all meat is cooked through, about 6 minutes; lower heat at any point to prevent scorching.

Add tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in wine, scraping bottom of pot, and bring to a boil, then cook until raw alcohol smell has cooked off, about 5 minutes. Add bay leaves.

Add reserved stock, scraping all the hydrated gelatin with it, to the Dutch oven and bring to a simmer; lower heat to maintain a very gentle simmer. Season with salt and add pinch nutmeg and fish sauce. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce is thickened and has almost no excess liquid remaining, about 3 hours. Skim and discard any fat from surface along with bay leaves. Stir in cream and season with salt.

Use right away, refrigerate up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.


Serving Size

Makes about 2 quarts


389 kcal

Total Fat

25 g

Saturated Fat

10 g

Unsaturated Fat

0 g

Trans Fat



114 mg


404 mg

Total Carbohydrate

7 g

Dietary Fiber

2 g

Total Sugars

4 g


32 g

16 servings


3 hours 45 minutes

total time
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