Ragù sauce with aromatics by Stefania’s granny


First of all, I must tell you there is only one authentic recipe of Ragù Bolognese. If you want something similar to that magical sauce, with a newer taste, try this recipe. You won’t regret it! 

I am going to reveal my granny Lea’s secret recipe; she was a genuine woman from Ferrara and made her own ragù: more flavorful and modern.

Meat and aromatic herbs (rosemary and basil) are slightly different; moreover the tomatoes are fresh. You may not believe it: the ragù will be lighter and more flavorful.

What is the difference between my recipe and Bolognese ragù?

My ragù is lighter because I do not add any milk, nor wine. The aromatic herbs give a stronger taste and the chili pepper makes it slightly spicy.

My ragù is not so “red” as the traditional one (actually, I am from Ferrara, not from Bologna, this makes the difference), anyway, try to make my recipe, it is delightful.   

And the same as the original recipe, keep in mind: don’t be in a hurry because cooking a tasty ragù takes quite a lot of time; nothing worse than undercooked ragù! Grant your ragù plenty of time, because all the ingredients have to combine together, be patient.

Ragù sauce with aromatics by Stefania’s granny

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword bolognese ragù, ragù sauce, ragù sauce with aromatics
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours


  • 200 gr

    ground beef (85% lean)

  • 200 gr

    high quality pork sausage

  • 1 stalk celery
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1 big onion
  • 1 twig fresh basil
  • 1 twig rosemary
  • 500 gr

    fresh but ripe tomatoes

  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • salt, pepper, chili pepper


  • Wash and finely chop celery, carrots, and onion (the chef’s brunoise): the size of the pieces should be the same to guarantee and even cooking.  
  • Heat the oil in a pan and add the vegetables. Fry over medium heat until softened and golden brown. Be careful, not to burn them, otherwise the ragù will taste bitter and unpleasant. 
  • Stir in the beef and the sausage until browned. In the meanwhile, cut the tomatoes into coarse pieces and add them to the meat. 
  • Add the basil and the rosemary. Bundle the sprig of rosemary, to secure the needles, so they won’t be scattered all around your pasta. 
  • Cover and cook over medium-low heat: the water of the tomatoes will moist the meat. Simmer for about two hours.
  • After one hour season to taste and replace the “cooked” basil with other basil leaves to have a stronger Italian taste. If it gets too dry, you may add some lukewarm water. 
  • Ragù is done when the sauce is evenly combined, the meat softened but compact in the embracing basil scented tomato sauce.  
  • Serve it with tagliatelle or the pasta you like best. 
  • Freeze the remanning!

Is ragù healthy? Does it fit a low-calorie diet?

Yes, ragù is healthy if it is part of a balanced meal. It is made of slightly fat meat, which represents the protein intake in your meal. You should not add any cheese, except very very little freshly-grated Parmigiano  (it enhances the taste of the ragù), nor more meat of fish. An average serving of pasta with ragù is a main dish on its own: 80gr for women, 100-120gr for men is a reasonable portion.

Have it for lunch, because it it better digested and metabolized in the first part of the day.

Combine it with a side plate: some crispy green salad, or any fresh vegetables to taste, dressed with a tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, salt, and vinegar.

What pasta is best for ragù sauce?

For this ragù the “obligation of tagliatelle” is less strict: you may choose any pasta shapes (spaghetti, penne, bow-ties, …), but fresh egg pasta pairs wonderfully.

You should opt for bronze-coated rough pasta so that the sauce can cling better and it will get really appetizing. I do love pasta Rummo or Garofalo because they are made from high quality wheat,  hence very tasty and easy to digest; their cooking time is about 10 minutes.

Long or short, it is up to you. I like ragù with bronze-coated linguine: toothsome, definitely.

I do not like to combine ragù with wholesome pasta because its strong taste softens the ragù.

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