Pretty much the standard recipe for traditional Ragù alla Bolognese, though there may be a few ingredients here, or not here, that surprise you. No garlic or herbs, though do add them if you like. Milk is added to help tenderise the meat, more useful if you’re using cubed beef rather than minced. You can use half pork and beef for the meat. And everything is cooked separately before combining in the pan to simmer, better for the final flavour that way. If you want to add extras like dried porcini mushrooms, or sautéed chicken livers, they’re excellent too. Excellent with our South Devon Pasta Co Hand-made Emmer Fettuccine.


Ingredients and Method


South Devon Pasta Co Hand-made Emmer Fettuccine, 250g

100g bacon or pancetta lardons 

1 carrot

2 sticks celery

1 onion

300g-400g cubed stewing steak, or ground beef, or half pork and beef.

75g red wine

200g milk, or beef stock

150g-200g thick tomato sauce or concentrated passata

butter or oil

salt and pepper to taste


  1. Heat about 25g butter or oil in a large saucepan, add the lardons and fry over a low heat until a rich brown colour, about 10-15 minutes. While it’s cooking, peel and dice into 1 cm cubes the carrot, celery and onion. Scoop the lardons out of the pan onto a plate, leave to one side then add the chopped vegetables with ½ tsp salt to help them soft and cook over a medium for about 15-20 minutes until they’re starting to brown and soften as this brings out the vegetables natural sweetness. Then scoop the vegetables out of the pan and onto the plate with the lardons.


  1. Add the meat to the remaining oil in the pan and cook over a high heat until it begins to sizzle, then cook over a medium heat until the meat begins to brown on the outside. Add the wine, cook until it evaporates, then add the milk, reserved vegetables and lardons and cook over a very low heat with a lid loosely on for two hours slowly until the meat is tender, and the milk almost evaporated. Then add the tomato sauce, and cook for another 30-60 minutes until done.