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Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese is a traditional Italian ragu from Bologna. This is a rich flavorful sauce that is perfect for a Sunday night dinner with family. It also freezes well and can be kept in the freezer for up to three months.

  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: about 2 hours
  • Yield: 6 to 8 servings


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces bacon or pancetta, diced
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped yellow onions
  • 3/4 cup diced carrots
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry Vermouth
  • 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes and their juice
  • 1 14.5 ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef stock or broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 pound spaghetti
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan


  • In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring, until browned and the fat is rendered, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until soft, 10 to 12 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, basil, and rosemary and cook, for 3 minutes. Add the beef, veal and pork, and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 1 to 2 minutes. Add the Vermouth and cook, stirring, to deglaze the pan and remove any browned bits sticking to the bottom of the pan, and until half of the liquid is evaporated, about 4 minutes.

  • Add the diced tomatoes and their juices, crushed tomatoes, and beef broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, to keep the sauce from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the sauce is thickened and flavorful, about 1 1/2 hours. Add the cream, butter, and parsley, stir well, and simmer for 5 minutes. Discard the bay leaves and adjust the seasoning, to taste. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.

  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and return the water to a low boil. Cook, stirring occasionally to prevent the noodles from sticking, until al dente, 8 to 10 minutes. Drain in a colander.

  • Add the pasta to the sauce, tossing to coat. Add 1/2 cup of the cheese and toss to blend. Divide among pasta bowls and serve with the remaining cheese passed tableside.

    (Alternatively, toss only the desired portion of pasta with a bit of the sauce at a time in a serving bowl, reserving the remainder for another meal.)