I’ve been making Ragù (bolognese sauce) for my family for the longest time and so often, that it’s now a cherished family tradition.


The original recipe comes from my now battered copy of Marcella Hazan’s, The Classic Italian Cookbook. In it she writes “A properly made Ragù clinging to the folds of home-made noodles is one of the most satisfying experiences accessible to the sense of taste.” Wonderful!

Here is my adaption, to which I often add extra vegetables such as mushrooms or eggplant.

2 medium onions, chopped
4tlb olive oil
1tlb butter
1 cup celery, chopped
1 cup carrots, chopped
2-4 cloves fresh garlic, chopped
1kg pork & veal mince
salt to taste
1 cup dry white wine
¼ cup milk
1/8 tsp nutmeg
1.5L home made passata or 2x 400g tinned tomatoes + 1 tin filled with water.

Choose a deep, heavy, cast iron pot and warm over high heat. When the pot is warm, add the butter and olive oil, then the onions. Sauté for about 5 minutes or until until transluscent. Add the celery, carrots and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes.
Add the minced meat, crumbling it with a fork. Add salt to taste, continue with fork, and cook only until the meat has lost its raw, red colour. Add the wine, and cook stirring occasionally, until all the wine has evaporated.
Turn the heat down to medium, add the milk and the nutmeg, and cook until the milk has evaporated. Stir frequently.
Next, add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly. When the tomatoes start to bubble, turn the heat down until the the sauce cooks at a gentle simmer. Cook, uncovered for 2-3 hour, stirring occasionally. Add extra water if the sauce begins to evaporate too rapidly. Taste then add salt to taste.