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Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

Course: Main Course
Total Time: Under 2 Hours
Skill Level: Moderate
Cost: Inexpensive
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One of the best known Italian ragus is Ragû Bolognese. A combination of beef and veal is traditional, but I prefer the flavor that comes from the addition of pork and use it in place of the veal. The choice is yours. Nutmeg, used gingerly, adds a distinctive flavor. My preference is barely a pinch.

Yield: Serves 6 to 8

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 ounces slab bacon, rind removed, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • 1 onion, cut into ¼-inch dice
  • ½ cup diced carrot (¼-inch dice)
  • ½ cup diced celery (¼-inch dice)
  • 8 ounces ground beef chuck
  • 8 ounces ground pork or veal
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 can (28 ounces) Italian plum tomatoes, drained and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • ½ cup beef broth
  • 1 pinch ground nutmeg, or more to taste
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup heavy (whipping) cream
  • 12 ounces spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves, for garnish
  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy pot over low heat. Add the bacon and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, 6 to 7 minutes.

2. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and continue to cook, stirring, until the vegetables are wilted, 5 to 8 minutes.

3. Raise the heat to medium, crumble in the ground beef and pork in small clumps, and cook, stirring, until the meat is browned and the liquid has evaporated, about 10 minutes.

4. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until it evaporates, about 5 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, nutmeg, and salt and pepper. Bring the sauce to a boil. Then reduce the heat to medium-low, partially cover the pot, and simmer, stirring occasionally, until the flavors have blended, about 25 minutes.

5. Stir in the cream, reduce the heat to low, and cook, partially covered, for 20 minutes, uncovering the pot in the last 5 minutes. Taste, and adjust the seasonings.

6. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook until it is al dente (just tender), 12 minutes. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the cooking water.

7. Toss the pasta with the sauce, adding some of the reserved cooking water if the sauce needs thinning. Transfer the mixture to a large pasta bowl, sprinkle with the chopped parsley, and serve. Pass the cheese!

© 2008 Sheila Lukins

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

Nutritional information is based on 8 servings.

Nutritional information is based on 1/8 teaspoon added salt per serving.

Nutritional information does not included grated cheese.

498kcal (25%)
636mg (27%)
28g (43%)
10g (51%)
69mg (23%)
144mcg RAE (5%)
13mg (22%)
72mg (7%)
4mg (20%)

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