Bolognese with homemade pappardelle

Everybody has their own interpretation of spag bol. But just in case you need a reliable ragù alla bolognese, here’s a great recipe for the Italian classic. You might not be able to visit Bologna any time soon but at least you can imagine it a little better with this delicious dish.


Originally bolognese was enjoyed with fettuccine or tagliatelle but has since been adapted to suit people all over the world. We decided to go back to our Italian roots and made this recipe with homemade pappardelle, a broad, sheet like pasta similar to fettuccini. Also, if you’d rather make a smaller batch, simply halve the quantities.

Ingredients (serves 6 – 8):

For the ragù

1kg good quality beef chuck (or simply use beef mince)
50g butter
1 onion, finely chopped
2 sticks celery, finely chopped
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, grated
Freshly grated nutmeg
150g pancetta or bacon, finely sliced (optional)
600ml wine (red or white)
250ml milk
2 tins chopped tomatoes, or 2 jars De Cecco Napoletana sauce
Handful of fresh oregano, roughly torn

For the pasta

150g fresh pappardelle per person serving
Head this way to make your own homemade pasta or use ready made pappardelle

making prapadelle for bolognese


1. Cut up the chuck steak into tiny pieces – about the size of small dice.
2. Heat the butter in a large pan and throw in the onion. Cook for a few minutes until soft and translucent. Add the celery, carrots, garlic and nutmeg. Cook for a minute or two.
3. Add the pancetta and cook for another few minutes.
4. Add the meat, stirring constantly. Before the meat has browned completely, pour in the wine. Bubble away on a medium heat until the liquid has mostly evaporated.
5. Stir the sauce every now and again to prevent burning. Turn the heat down slightly, and add the milk and reduce heat slightly. Simmer slowly until the milk has cooked down and the meat looks rich and glossy.
6. Next add the chopped tomatoes and mix well, turn the heat down so the sauce is cooking at the lowest temperature.
7. Leave the lid off, and cook for at least 2 hours. Stir every now and again, you want the sauce to be as thick and rich as possible. Stir through the oregano about half an hour before the sauce is cooked.
8. Just before the ragù is ready, fill a large saucepan with water and throw in a handful of salt. Cook the pasta for a few minutes until al dente.
9. Drain the pasta, and toss through the ragù. Serve with lashings of parmesan cheese and a big glass of red wine.


Now invite over as many people as you care to call your family and then have a wonderfully social evening with much hand gesticulation and kissing on the cheek. Pronto Mama.

Head this way to check out our De Cecco pasta selection and give this recipe for carbonara a whirl while you’re at it.

With thanks to Jules Mercer for her beautiful recipes and styling.