Ragù alla bolognese from Giorgio Locatelli’s Made in Italy Food and Stories

Submitted - Ben
Views - 3776
Serves - 4


500g minced beef
1 tablespoon oil
1 carrot, finely chopped
1/2 celery stalk, finely chopped
1/2 large onion, finely chopped
Sprig of rosemary, sage, and I added some fresh oregano, tied together (I had nothing to tie it together)
2 garlic cloves
200ml of red wine
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
400ml tomato passata
salt and pepper
pasta for 3
freshly grated pecorino or parmesan


Make sure your mince is bought to room temperature, so it sears rather than stews when it goes into the pan

Heat the oil in a wide bottomed pan, add the veggies, herbs, whole garlic cloves and sweat over high heat for 5-8 minutes without allowing it to colour (You need to keep stirring)

Season the meat with salt and pepper and add to the pan of vegetables making sure that the meat covering the base of the pan. Leave for about 5-6 minutes, so that the meat seals underneath and heats through completely, before you start stirring (otherwise it will ooze protein and liquid and boil rather than sear). Take care that the vegetables don’t burn – add a little oil if necessary. Mine burned. Maybe turn down the heat a stitch.

Stir the meat and vegetables every few minutes for about 10-12 minutes, until the meat starts to stick to the pan. At this point, the meat is ready to take the wine.

Add the wine and let it reduce right down to virtually nothing, then add the tomato paste and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring all the time.

Add the passata with about a cup of water. Bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for about 30-45 minutes adding a little more water if necessary, until you have a thick sauce.

When you’re ready to serve, boil up the pasta (Giorgio recommends tagliatelle or papparedelle or a short pasta), drain, reserving the cooking water. Add the pasta to the ragù, and toss well, adding some of the cooking water, if necessary to loosen the sauce. Serve with freshly grated cheese.