North Italian Meat Sauce (Ragu Bolognese)

North Italian Meat Sauce (Ragu Bolognese)


"This recipe comes from the Northern Italy areas, from Bologna. One unusual characteristic of this sauce is that there is no garlic in it-but there is a hint of ground nutmeg. Serve over hot, cooked pasta."

Ingredients {{adjustedServings}} servings 124 cals

Serving size has been adjusted!

Original recipe yields 28 servings



Amount per serving ({{servings}} total)

  • Calories:
  • 124 kcal
  • 6%
  • Fat:
  • 10.1 g
  • 16%
  • Carbs:
  • 2g
  • < 1%
  • Protein:
  • 5.5 g
  • 11%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 58 mg
  • 19%
  • Sodium:
  • 105 mg
  • 4%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

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  1. Combine the ham, onions, carrots and celery on a cutting board and chop into very small pieces. In a large skillet melt butter or margarine over medium heat. Add ham mixture and saute, stirring often, for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. Transfer to a heavy large saucepan.
  2. In same skillet heat olive oil and lightly brown beef and pork over medium heat, stirring constantly to break up any lumps. Pour in the wine, increased the heat and boil briskly, still stirring constantly, until almost all of the liquid has evaporated. Add ground meat mixture to ham mixture in saucepan. Stir in the stock and tomato paste. Bring all to a boil over high heat, then reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, melt remaining 2 tablespoons of butter or margarine over high heat in the original skillet. Add chicken livers and saute for 3 to 4 minutes, or until firm and lightly browned. Remove livers from skillet and dice. Set aside and add to sauce 10 minutes before it is done. A few minutes before serving, stir in the cream and let it heat through. Season sauce with nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste.
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Reviews 35

  1. 44 Ratings


Great tasting sauce! I left out the chicken livers so I increased the amount of ground beef and ground pork to make up for it. I used a whole small can of tomato paste. The longer this simmers, the better and adding the cream and nutmeg at the end really does make a difference. I served it over linguine and boy was it delicious.


This is so rich and lovely and filling and beautiful! Just gorgeous gorgeous stuff. I make a HUGE potful and eat it for lunch and dinner for three days in a row. And when it's gone I want to make more!


This is a great Bolognese! I agree with a previous review that a Cuisinart really helps with the chopping. The last time I made this I adapted it to what I had around the house and my husband liked it even more. I used 6 slices of bacon instead of ham (getting the bacon mostly cooked before adding veggies, and not adding any butter or oil because of the bacon fat). I used Hot Italian Pork sausage instead of ground pork (caseings removed, you could even use veal like the traditional bolognese). For ease, in place of the white, stock, & paste, I used a 26 oz. jar of Classico Cabernet Marinara. I also cut down the cream to 1/2 cup and left out the nutmeg. It was so thick and so delicious! You can add a little more jar sauce to thin it out. YUMMY! I will definitely make this again. Recipes are best when you can toy with them a little and it still comes out perfect!