Ragù Bolognese (thick Italian meat sauce)


  • 1 3/4 kg (62 oz) ground meat (half beef and half pork is best)
  • 1 1/2 cups of roughly chopped onion
  • 10 Italian tomatoes, fresh (about 650 g or 22 oz)
  • 700 ml (24 fl oz) Passata di pomodoro (Fresh Italian tomato purée)
  • 2 tbsp Doppio concentrato di pomodoro (Italian double tomato concentrate. Substitute 3.5 tbsp of regular tomato paste)
  • Dried oregano to taste (about 3 tbsp)
  • Freshly torn (not sliced) basil to taste (about a 1/2 cup)
  • Salt to taste
  • Pepper to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil


The picture above is an italian ragù of which there are 12 different types as listed by the Italian Cooking Academy (l’Accademia Italiana Della Cucina). By far, the most popular of all is ragù Bolognese, otherwise known as Bolognese sauce or meat sauce. It’s important to distinguish the difference between a ragù and a meat sauce in this case however. Lasagne, cannelloni and manicotti are made using a ragù where the meat (70%-80% of the content) outweighs the tomato whereas a meat sauce is a tomato-based sauce that has 20-30% meat in it.

  • Begin by sautéing your onions in extra virgin olive oil until translucent.
  • Add in the ground meat and cook through.
  • Remove the mixture from the heat and strain. Return to the pan and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes or until all the liquid has evaporated.
  • Chop the tomatoes and add them to the meat/onion mixture.
  • Cook until the tomatoes begin to fall slightly.
  • Add in the Passata, Doppio Concentrato and dried oregano and cook for a further 10 minutes.
  • Season with salt, pepper, basil and oregano and allow to cool to room temperature before using the ragù as a stuffing for Lasagna, Cannelloni, Manicotti or any other stuffed pasta dish.

Tip: Feel free to use garlic in your sauce if you wish, about 4-5 cloves, minced for this recipe!