Ragù Bolognese Sauce

5 servings


3 hours 10 minutes

total time


2 tbsp. (30 g) unsalted butter

2 tbsp. (30 ml) olive oil

2 oz. (60 g) diced pancetta

1 onion

1 carrot

1 celery stick

.75 to 1 lb fake ground meat

1 cup (236 ml) whole milk

pinch of ground nutmeg

Fish sauce


1 dried bay leaf or 2 fresh

1 cup (236 ml) dry white wine

Heaping 1/4 cup (60-70 g) tomato paste (see Notes below)

1-2 cups (236- 472 ml) quality chicken stock (see Notes below)

(1x) 28 oz (800g) can whole peeled plum tomatoes in purée, passed through food mill (optional, if you want more tomato)

1 lb. homemade pappardelle pasta

Fresh grated Parmesan cheese, to serve


In a heavy bottom pot (a Dutch oven is perfect) warm the butter and olive oil over medium-low heat.

Meanwhile, chop the onion, carrot and celery in a food processor. The texture should resemble a rough looking “pulp” which will melt into the sauce. No large chunks.

Add the veggie mixture to the pot. Sauté, stirring occasionally, for 10-15 minutes until lightly golden. Feel free to add more oil or butter as needed, if the mixture seems dry.

Add the fake meat. Use a fork to mash the meats together. Season with salt and black pepper. Cook just until the meat looses its pink color; do not brown. This will keep the texture of the meat soft.

Add the milk, nutmeg, bay leaf, fish sauce, thyme. Simmer until almost evaporated, up to 20 minutes (or more) depending on the size of the pot and how much liquid is released from the meat.

Pour in the wine; simmer until almost evaporated. Add the tomato paste; stir to dissolve. Add 1 cup of stock and tomatoes. Stir well.

Reduce the heat to low. Cook the sauce, with the lid ajar, for about 1-2 hours. The sauce should just “blip” about and not boil rapidly. Low and slow is key for a melt in your mouth texture. Do not rush the cooking process. If at any point the liquid is reducing too quickly, add more stock or canned tomatoes (if using). Sometimes I add more tomato paste for color. The final sauce should look similar to chili (thick, but no too thick). Skim away any fat from the surface and season with salt, if needed.

For the pappardelle: bring a large pot of water to a boil. Salt generously. Add the pappardelle noodles and cook until soft and al dente, 3-7 minutes depending on thickness. Taste for doneness. Make sure to to stir occasionally so the pasta doesn’t stick together. When finished, use tongs to transfer the pasta directly into the sauce, adding an additional pat of butter for flavor. Serve with Parmesan cheese.

5 servings


3 hours 10 minutes

total time
Start Cooking