The best Bolognese pasta (and the only one you need to know) |

The best Bolognese pasta (and the only one you need to know)

Katarina Poljak

The most crucial ingredient in this traditional bolognese sauce is patience. Cook it low and slow for all the flavours to build and meld.

Bolognese is the best when paired with tagliatelle, but it will be delicious on a ridgy short pasta such as penne rigate.

Cooking time: 3 hours

Serves: 4 people


  • 1 box Monograno Felicetti Organic Tagliatelle
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, chopped
  • 1 small carrot, peeled, chopped
  • 500 g ground beef chuck (20% fat), patted dry
  • Kosher salt
  • 80 g thinly sliced pancetta, chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 bay leaf
  • nutmeg
  • 2 cups (or more) homemade chicken stock or store-bought organic chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup Parmigiano Reggiano, grated


  1. Chop by hands or in a food processor onion, celery and carrot until very finely chopped.
  2. Heat good quality extra virgin olive oil in a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Cook pancetta in the pot over medium heat, occasionally stirring, until the pancetta has released some of its fat and is crisp, 6–8 minutes.
  4. Add vegetable mixture to pot and cook, occasionally stirring, until vegetables are very soft and beginning to stick, 6–8 minutes.
  5. Add beef to the pot, 5-7 mins; pour in the wine.
  6. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook, smashing down on beef with a wooden spoon, until wine evaporates and the surface of the pot is almost dry. Do it for about 12–15 minutes. You should reduce the meat to what looks like tiny bits. It takes a bit of effort, but you can take breaks.
  7. Add tomato paste, nutmeg and bay leaf, stir occasionally and still pressing down on meat until tomato paste slightly darkens, for about 5 minutes.
  8. Pour stock and milk into a pot; add a pinch of salt.
  9. Reduce heat to the lowest setting and cook, uncovered and occasionally stirring, until meat is very tender, 2–2½ hours. There shouldn’t be any rapid bubbles at this stage. The sauce should release the occasional small bubble or two.
  10. If the liquid reduces before the meat is completely tender, add an extra ½ cup stock and continue cooking.
  11. Discard bay leaf.
  12. Taste sauce and adjust seasoning as needed; keep warm.
  13. Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water until very al dente, about 2 minutes less than package directions.
  14. Transfer pasta to pot with sauce.
  15. Add 1 cup pasta cooking liquid and ½ cup Parmesan.
  16. Increase heat to medium, bring to a simmer, cook, frequently toss, until pasta is al dente and liquid slightly thickened for about 2 minutes.
  17. Transfer pasta to a platter and top with more Parmesan.

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