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February 26, 2013 by dgarnett2013

Bolognese: Marcella Hazan’s The Classic Italian Cookbook


Makes enough for about 8 servings (I usually freeze half).

  • 50g butter, divided
  • 3 tabs olive oil
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 2/3 cup chopped carrot
  •  700g minced lean beef
  • Salt
  • Fresh ground black pepper
  • 250 ml white wine
  • 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 230ml milk
  • 2 x 400g tins Italian plum tomatoes, torn into pieces, with juice
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese at the table


An earthenware is best to use when making a ragu. Otherwise a heavy, enamelled cast-iron casserole is good. It should be deep so that the ragu doesn’t reduce too quickly.

bolognese pot

Heat the oil and butter and then the onion, carrot and celery and sauté until the vegetables are translucent.

Add ground beef, a large pinch of salt and a few grindings of pepper. Crumble meat with a fork, stir well and cook only until the beef has lost its raw, red colour.

Add the wine, turn the heat up to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until all the wine has evaporated.

Turn the heat down to medium, add the milk and nutmeg and cook until the milk has evaporated. Stir frequently.

When the milk has evaporated, add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly. When the tomatoes have started to bubble, turn the heat down until the sauce cooks at the gentlest simmer, just an occasional bubble. Cook uncovered for a minimum of 3 1/2 to 4 hours, stirring occasionally.

If you cannot cook it all at once, you can turn it off and resume cooking it later one, but do finish cooking it in one day. Can be kept in the fridge for up to 5 days or it freezes well.

The newest member of the family.


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