bolognese ragu with tagliatelle - serves 4

100ml extra virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 stick celery, finely chopped
400g minced beef
400g minced pork
250ml red wine
1 sprig rosemary – leaves stripped and chopped
6 tbsp tomato purée
1 litre hot chicken stock
400g tagliatelle or pappardelle
freshly grated parmesan

Begin by making a soffritto, or chopped vegetable base.

Heat the olive oil, add the onion, garlic, carrot and celery and soften for about 10 minutes.

When the onion and celery have become translucent, add the minced meat and brown, on all sides, stirring occasionally.

Pour in the wine and reduce by half.

Add the rosemary, stir in the tomato puree, season and cook for 1 minute.

Pour in the hot stock, bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for approximately 1¼ hours, checking and stirring from time to time. If in need of extra liquid, add a little hot water.

When the ragu is almost ready, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of salted water

Drain and mix with about half of the sauce.

Distribute evenly on 4 plates, then top each plate with the remainder of the sauce.

Serve with some freshly grated parmesan


Bolognese sauce is sometimes taken to be a tomato sauce, but authentic recipes have only a small amount of tomato.

The people of Bologna traditionally serve their ragù with tagliatelle and not spagetti. So Tag-Bol would be more accurate than Spag-Bol. The tagliatelle or pappardelle give a greater surface area for the sauce to adhere to

It is not unusual for Italians to simmer the ragu for 3-4 hours or more. It just depends on how much time you have on your hands. This should not be viewed as a quick dish if you wish to impart some flavour