International Day of Italian Cuisines

Tagliatelle with Bolognese ragù sauce, Tagliatelle al Ragù alla Bolognese: An authentic recipe by Mario Caramella, GVCI President

Mario Caramella

In Italy, there are several traditional recipes of Tagliatelle al ragù alla Bolognese with more or less slight variations and far too many individual interpretations of it. This recipe has been tailored mainly for all those non Italian chefs who aim at serving this traditional Italian dish abroad in a correct and professional way. The recipe however may be useful also to the many Italian chefs in Italy, as well as abroad, who are just as confused about it. It takes into account the basics of the various streams of the Italian tradition as well as the experience of many talented chefs, including many GVCI associates. I hope it will give you a clear direction and help you achieve a good result.

Mario Caramella


Ingredients per person

100 gm dry, egg dough tagliatelle
200 gm Bolognese ragù (see recipe ahead)
Grana Padano or Parmigiano Reggiano cheese freshly grated


  • Cook the pasta in salted boiling water, strain when al dente, and place it in a hot pasta bowl or plate
  • Bring the sauce to boil and if too thick add little water from the pasta
  • Spoon the hot sauce over the steaming and fragrant tagliatelle and serve with the freshly grated cheese on the side
  • Put a spoon and a fork so the guests can mix their own pasta and put the right amount of grated cheese. This is the real and better way to enjoy this dish. The alternative is to sauté the pasta and the sauce in the kitchen and then serve it.
  • Do not decorate with basil leaves or chopped parsley, or even more gross with garlic bread on the side

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Bolognese ragù sauce


To achieve a great result, this sauce should be made fresh every morning and be served within a few hours or the same day

Ingredients for 2 kg (approx) of Bolognese Ragù

600gm coarsely ground lean beef
400gm coarsely ground lean pork
200gm pancetta diced or chopped
100gm chopped onion
100gm carrot diced
100gm celery diced
1kg tomato peeled (canned)
300ml dry white wine
500ml fresh milk
3 pc bay leaves
Black pepper and salt to taste


  • Place the pancetta in a thick base large stainless steal saucepot (cm30x20) stir and cook over low flame until the fat is melted, add the onion and keep stirring until the onion is translucent
  • Add the carrot and celery and the bay leaves and keep cooking until the vegetables start to soften and get some colour,
  • Raise the flame to very high and add the ground meats, previously mixed and seasoned with salt and black pepper and mixed well, by hand ( wearing gloves!)
  • Keep cooking and stirring with a wooden spoon until the meat is well done
  • Pour in the white wine and keep cooking until the wine has evaporated
  • Process briefly the peeled tomatoes in the food mill and add to the pot and continue cooking slowly over a low flame for at least 2 hours, if it becomes too dry add some beef stock
  • Add some milk and some chicken stock, stir and leave to slow boiling at low flame
  • Keep going with the milk and the stock for 60 minutes at low flame
  • Season to taste and leave to rest


The traditional pasta that goes with Bolognese sauce are the tagliatelle, serving spaghetti with Bolognese sauce is actually a sign of mediocrity in the understanding of Italian cuisine


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For the dough

1 kg pasta flour
8 whole fresh eggs


  • Mix the flour and the eggs by hand or in the planetary mixing machine
  • Cover and leave the dough to rest in a cool place for 2 hours
  • Roll out the dough, with a rolling pin if you have the know-how, or use the pasta machine, cut the tagliatelle with a knife or by using a proper cutter
  • Arrange in a traditional nest shape and leave to dry


If you do not have the right flour, the know-how, the right environment, do not make your own pasta!!! You’d better use an Italian industrial product, which is actually good and will give you good results and a consistent standard. Please do not pre-cook the pasta and do keep it always al dente!!! so many times we read on menus the very proud statement , “home made pasta” and than we are served mediocre, broken, overcooked and tasteless pasta, made with the wrong flour and dried in the wrong environment; generally the result of hard exercise that should have been avoided. Also, avoid those fresh, locally made, gourmet pasta products that are usually very average and made by incompetents!