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Ragu alla Bolognese

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 12 people


  • 4 tbsp olive oil or butter
  • 1 large onion , finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery , finely diced
  • 1 large carrot , grated
  • 4 rashers bacon , sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic , crushed
  • 500 grams beef mince
  • 500 grams pork mince
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 2 cups beef bone broth
  • 400 grams tinned diced tomatoes
  • 4 tbsp tomato paste
  • 3 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves , finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano , or dried mixed herbs
  • 1 tsp nutmeg , freshly grated
  • 1 parmesan rind
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 100 grams chicken livers* , optional
  • 2 cups fresh basil leaves , finely sliced
  • 6 tbsp parmesan , finely grated


  • Heat the olive oil or butter in a large pan. Add the onion, celery and carrot with a large pinch of salt and cook gently with the lid on, stirring occasionally, until very soft and lightly browned. This will take about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the bacon and garlic and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Add the beef and pork mince and cook until completely browned, breaking apart any lumps with a wooden spoon.
  • Pour over the wine, increase the temperature, and simmer strongly until the wine has almost completely evaporated.
  • Stir in the beef broth, tomatoes, tomato paste, rosemary, oregano, nutmeg, parmesan rind, salt and pepper. If using the chicken livers chop them into very small pieces and add them to the sauce. Bring the sauce to a boil and then turn the heat down. Simmer the ragu, stirring occasionally, until thickened, for about 1 hour.
  • Remove the parmesan rind, add the basil, taste for salt and pepper and serve over your favourite pasta with a sprinkle of parmesan.


*As an option to using fresh chicken livers in this recipe we sell the wonderfully nutritious liver and beef broth frozen cubes from Star Anise Wholefoods at The Health Emporium. These make adding chicken livers to a sauce so very easy. Just drop 4 cubes in when simmering the ragu.
Keyword ragu, bolognese, recipe, Italian, healthy, family