Gennaro Contaldo’s Classic Italian Ragu Bolognese | Citalia

One of Italy’s most versatile sauces is the ragu Bolognese. Originating in the Emilia-Romagna region, this rich and delicious sauce can be used for a variety of dishes.

There are many versions of this recipe but Gennaro Contaldo’s authentic recipe shows you how to make a simple and flavoursome sauce, using far fewer ingredients than you may have been expecting. You will see that instead of tins of tomatoes, for example, Gennaro uses a small amount of concentrated tomato puree, diluted in stock, making the sauce lovely and rich but not overly tomato-y. In fact, it is the good quality mince used in the recipe which is the star of the show.

Gennaro’s recipe is simple to make and as it is slow-cooked over a gentle heat for at least two hours, it is a relatively effortless recipe to pull together, allowing you to get on with other things as the house fills with the delicious smell of Italian cooking.

Gennaro’s top tip is to make more than you need and then freeze the excess in batches, ready to be used another time in a tagliatelle Bolognese or hearty lasagne.


4 x servings

45ml extra virgin olive oil
25g butter
1 x onion, finely chopped
1 x celery stalk, finely chopped
1 x carrot, finely chopped
150g pancetta, cubed
200g minced beef
200g minced pork
200ml red wine
2 x tablespoons double-concentrated tomato puree’
200ml stock


Heat the extra virgin olive oil and butter in a pan, add the onion, celery, carrot and pancetta and sweat on a gentle heat for about 10 minutes until the onion has softened. Add the meat and brown all over. Increase the heat, add the wine and allow to evaporate. Dilute the tomato puree in a little of the stock and stir into the meat.

Reduce the heat to low, cover with a lid and cook on a gentle heat for 2 hours, checking and adding a little extra stock from time to time to avoid the sauce from drying out.


Andrea says:

After this ragù i see The bolognaise of Ramsay and my heart die

liltd87 says:

extra virgin OLIVEUUL!

Giovani22 says:

Gennaro is there anyway you can show a seafood dinner with clams mussels calamri all of that on the shell including a lobster tale to (or whole would be fantastic ) marinara sauce ?
I really enjoy seafoods.

Ali Örnek says:

I ve tried this at home…. Of course been very loyal to the recipe…
If that was the real pasta, I wonder what the previous pastas that I tasted were… Extremely delicious, thank you.

Nate Sepnefski says:

Brown the butter??

happyburial says:

Even though this version tastes great too, I much prefer browning the pancetta and mince before adding the vegetables. That way you can brown the meat much better, and in the end, you get a stronger flavor.

mario reveco says:

seria posible colocar subtitulos en español porfavor ,,,gracias

Armani Nguon says:

What is pancetta? I want to make this at home.

David Nice says:

No meat for me. I’ll use veggie product.

VideoDeadGaming says:


Bernard Komdeur says:

Sir Gennaro, you will always be the Capo di Tutti Capi of Italian cuisine! Thank you very much for your inspirational video! I am going to teach this recipe to my sons this afternoon so i know they learned something worth learning today! I hope i can show them some of the love and devotion you just showed us!

DFB Altintop says:

Personally, I add some herbs/spiceslike parsley, bay leaf, thyme, cayenne. And garlic is also one of my most favorite ingredient.
I always fry or sweat the tomato paste with the meat and sofritto to incease rustiness, richness, dark color and then deglace the browned bottom of pan with wine. I loop this procedure for 3-4x (sweating, caramelization, deglacing, … ) before adding more liquid etc.

Z04RD says:

“Happy pig!” I’m laughing so hard! 😀

diego armens says:

Hi guys, I’m from Italy, Napoli, and ragu was born in Bologna, the dishis bolognese. the receipt is not this. But is as american do (I image). and I think also that this chef is a professionist and is italian also :) well done Gennaro!

Chaz Dadkhah says:

Wow and no garlic or herbs in sight? Interesting, think it would taste more like a sheppards pie with pancetta.

Denise Carrillo says:

where is the garlic tho ?

Javier Gonzalez says:

praise ragu!!!

James B. says:

No garlic ?

Stefan Mittler says:

Just when you thought Gordon Ramsey was the creepiest cook on YouTube….

Anarchsis says:

Never put anything but onions and tomatoes in my spag bol. Mostly beef with pork and veal, roma tomatoes, salt, garlic and basil, thyme, rosemary and bay leaves. I notice somebody added milk, never heard of that, not knocking anyones recipe, mine came from an elderly, northern Italian lady my mum grew up with.

KKB1976 says:

This is how NOT cook the Ragu….

Christopher Smith says:

I love this guy! Never heard such a great and inspiring authenticly based cook. Love his kitchen too!

Diederik Valsap says:

How much wine? In the video he’s talking about half a glass and in the description it says 200ml

crestyler says:

nice video :) I am just trying it out. hope that it tastes well. Which kind of wine do you prefer?

arlindodavila says:

Fantastic!!! The best Bolognese on Earth! Thx Gennaro!

Dtothe3 says:

This fella has joined Matty Matheson as my joint favourite chef. The moment he exploded with passion sealed the deal.

SengKiat93 says:

Where’s the milk?!

Almir Rodrigues says:

Gennaro, Qual è il nome di questo tipo di stufa che stai cucinando? Voglio fare uno come

schweizerbuddy says:

Sauvage de gaillard


LOL! Even the saucepan is “LUVelly”

Sir Anoch says:

Thanks Master Chef, for sharing these recipes, with my family from across the sea.

Magister Ludi says:

I make this almost the same but I add some finely chopped chicken liver. Only a little, if the beef and pork was 500g total about 25 to 50 grams.

Dimitris Arhontidis says:

That kitchen is just insane!

maria dominguez says:

wao my favorite food you are the best thanks

Rudy2053 says:

Hi Gennaro…..Thanks a lot for your beautiful recipes. I would subscribed a thousand times just for you if you want me to. We all lucky to have you on youtube, and you have a wonderful personality. From N.Y.C.

Jason Gibson says:

I would kill for a kitchen like that! I’ll be in there cooking all the time.

FCMn says:

Happy pig, yeees!

White Knight says:

Love the recipe, just made it. Mine got slowcooked for 7 hours until the sauce was how i love it to be <3
Bcuz of u Gennaro i promise i will never buy those glasses from supermarked ever again <3 i rather make a lot and freeze it <3
Much Love <3

Rowan says:

Why do you put the minced meat after the pancetta and the vegetables? Won’t the pancetta overcook in the time the meat has to cook?

Giovanni Graziano says:

Ti voglio bene

Darko Bertovic says:

So super guy Mr. Contaldo! Cheers man!!!

mike force says:

milk/cream! is this guy a pollack?

Jin Kuang says:

Milk and white wine …

Patti Tayaya says:

this is what im looking for i must try now,thanks ^__^

JaneMary20 says:

i finally know how to prepare a real Italian Bolognese! amazing…step by step… AWESOME!

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