Spaghetti Bolognese: The Authentic Recipe

authentic spaghetti bolognese

by Femita

Throughout the years spaghetti bolognese (a.k.a. spag bol) has become a favorite among people who like quick and simple dishes. Cook some pasta, add tomato sauce and minced meat and voilà! Often we also add extra vegetables like peppers, eggplant, zucchini, carrots, mushrooms etc. But did you know this has very little to do with the original spaghetti bolognese from Italy?

Real bolognese sauce is called ragù alla bollognese. Indeed, it’s a ragout a.k.a. a meat stew that has simmered for hours over a low heat. Each Italian mamma has her own recipe, but the basics stay the same: onion, carrots, celery, ground beef or veal and – surprise surprise – no tomatoes! Instead only a bit of tomato purée, milk, wine and stock is used. The end result is a thick, smooth meaty sauce that is best served with tagliatelle as it will make the sauce stick better. What follows is the one and only original recipe for authentic pasta bolognese.

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What you need

400 g (14 oz) tagliatelle
olive oil
100g (3.5 oz) dried pancetta
1 chopped onion
1 carrot
2 celery stalks
350 g (12 oz) ground beef or veal
1 tin of tomato purée
1 glass of red wine
1.5 dl (2/3 cup) milk
4 dl (1 3/4 cup) beef stock
thyme, rosemary, oregano
salt and pepper

How you do it

Heat the butter and olive oil in a deep pan. Fry the pancetta until it starts to color, then add the chopped onion, carrot and celery. Lower the heat and leave to simmer for 10 minutes. Next add the ground beef and stir-fry until it has turned brown. Now it’s time to add the tomato purée and  give it a good stir. Pour over the wine and reduce the sauce by half. Add the milk and part of the stock until everything is covered. Season with thyme, rosemary and oregano. Put on the lid and leave simmering for two hours on low heat (the longer the better). Check from time to time and add a bit of stock every time your sauce seems to become too dry. Remove the lid for the last ten minutes, so the sauce can thicken and get a nice, creamy texture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Finally cook the tagliatelle in salted water, drain and mix the pasta with the sauce. Serve with some grated parmesan cheese. Enjoy!


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