Traditional ragù alla bolognese, with fresh egg tagliatelle

Thanks to Magic Spoon for sponsoring this video! Use my code RAGUSEA to get $5 off your delicious, healthy Magic Spoon cereal:

My old, non-traditional bolognese recipe, if you want that instead:


For the sauce

1-1.5 lb (454-681g) ground meat (typically a combination of beef and pork)
2-3 oz (57-85g) pancetta or other fatty cured meat (this is skippable)
2 celery stalks (I also save the leaves for garnish)
2-3 carrots
1/2 an onion
white wine (can use water instead plus a splash of white balsamic vinegar)
chicken stock (I used a whole 1 quart, 946 mL carton but you could replace some or all with plain water)
tomato paste
butter or olive oil

For the pasta

6 eggs
all-purpose flour (about 3 cups, 360g plus more for dusting)
olive oil

Dice the pancetta finely and throw it into a cold pan big enough to hold all your sauce. Turn the heat on medium and let it render out its fat while you dice your carrots. (If you’re skipping the pancetta, just heat a film of olive oil or butter in the pan.) Stir the carrots into the pan. Dice the celery and stir it in, followed by the onion. At this point you may need some more fat to cook the vegetables, so put in a knob of butter or a glug of olive oil. Cook over moderate heat until the vegetables are soft but not brown. Dump them back out onto the cutting board.

Put the ground meat into the pan and turn the heat up higher. Stir the meat and break it up with a wooden spoon until you’ve evaporated off most of its water and you’ve gotten some good browning. Stir in a big squeeze of tomato paste and then deglaze with enough white wine to just submerge everything. Stir in a pinch of salt and a few grinds of pepper, reduce the heat and simmer for at least two hours (4-5 hours is better). Stir occasionally and replenish the liquid with enough stock to keep everything just barely submerged.

At some point while you’re simmering, make the fresh pasta dough. Beat the eggs smooth with a glug of olive oil and pinch of salt. Stir in as much flour as the eggs will take. Knead the dough with additional flour until it’s reasonably smooth and only a little sticky. Cover and let rest for at least 20 minutes.

When you’re about a half hour away from dinner, let the sauce evaporate out most of its water and then pour in just enough milk to get everything submerged again. Simmer gently, stirring occasionally until the sauce is thick. Now would be a good time to put a pot of salted water on the boil for pasta and to roll the dough out.

Put your dough ball on a clean counter, scatter heavily with flour and roll with a rolling pin, turning and flipping frequently to make sure every surface is well-floured and doesn’t stick. Keep rolling until you’ve got the sheet as thin as you can reasonably get it. Again make sure it’s well-floured and then fold it over on itself a few times and transfer to a cutting board. Cut it into wide strips for tagliatelle. Scatter the strips with more flour and toss them to get them unfolded and separated.

When the sauce is thick, taste it for seasoning and add salt, pepper, etc. (I might give it a splash of vinegar and maybe even a pinch of sugar — call the Pasta Police.)

Drop the pasta in the boiling water and cook for a few minutes until it swells up noticeably and floats strongly to the surface. Drain, leaving a little pasta water behind to mix with the sauce. Stir in as much sauce as you want to coat all the pasta and serve — grated cheese is not traditional but live your own life.

26 Replies to “Traditional ragù alla bolognese, with fresh egg tagliatelle”

  1. Dude, you scrape with the cutting edge of your knife then leave meat on the side of the cutting board? Leaving that much product on your board for someone else to clean up? NEVER add water. Stock, broth, wine.. why add no flavor?

  2. k some cow an some pig chopped , with my wifes green shit let it boil with her wine an cup of butter an quart of cream , add some eggs to bag of flour an flatten it put it in boiling water an don't ad cheese gotcha, your the best 🙂 I love your simple recipes that don't use my beer or whisky !!!

  3. Think I'll try this one. When I was a kid my mom used to get me involved in rolling out fresh egg pasta and I really miss that flavor. Egg pasta is just so good and chewy.

  4. i love how adam always says what he is doing and why he id doing it. It always bugs me when peole in cooking tutorial just throw in random stuff without explenation.

  5. the reason fresh pasta is hard to season by salting the boil water is because you're not using enough salt in the boil water

    the anecdote about "the water being as salty as the sea" is true here, you only cook for like 90 seconds so you need WAY more salt for it to penetrate than you would for a dry noodle that boils for 10+ minutes

    shorter time, saltier water.

  6. so as a non italian. who cooks ragu aloooot. and talked to alot of italians. putting milk in is rater rare and un-traditional

  7. I'm pretty sure the Italian ancestors just stirred the pot because it needed to and didn't actually give a thought about "denaturing the proteins." 😂

  8. If I may ask, Adam: What motivated you to use half an onion instead of a shallot in this recipe? You've historically advocated for shallots in exactly this sort of situation. Is this a sacrifice for traditionalism's sake, or have you fallen out of love with them?

  9. For some reason I have never had a bolognese without any tomatoes in any Italian restaurant… Otherwise, the recipe is spot on.

  10. I'm watching this video while I'm waiting my potatoes to fry. Also, I have no idea how to cook, no idea why I'm watching this… 😆

  11. Thanks Adam very clear instruction and it looks delicious!
    Can you do a batch and freeze it? I know you can with some bolognese but I'm not sure with this one with the milk and all…

  12. Please don't mention dog vomit. I would never associate it like that and would prefer no reminder.

  13. I don't see the point of sticking to traditional recipes in modern times as foreigners ( Italians have to preserve those because that's part of their culture. ) in the home kitchen.
    Here are my arguments.
    1. ) If early humans tried to stick to the original stone tools They would not have invented the sowrd. Likewise if we are trying to stick to traditional recipes that late italians made in their less than ideal condition life styles Food might not be able evolve to plucking the fruits of modern prosperity to be even more delicious. We have Steam locomotives in museums. But have you seen anyone who rides them like a jackass.

    2. ) For the folks that live outside the western europe and US some of those ingredients are really hard to find Ex: Those fancy cheese varieties. Food is supposed to nourish and make you feel good. What humans have to IMHO is get some inspiration make meals with the ingredients you have lying around.

    Italians I love you But don't you think this is the way it should be.

  14. Wait. It's okay to use chicken stock along with ground beef? That threw my hamster off the wheel.

  15. Considering Adam’s been sponsored by government agencies before, I went into this video fully expecting the Bologna chamber of commerce to sponsor this video lol

  16. Can you do a video on the ethics of veal or it's production? Is there such a thing as ethical veal?

  17. After you said like it looks like dog vomit I feel I can't actually eat it now 😐

  18. Love the need to explain in every recipe that adding wine is actually part of the recipe and not just your style 🤣

  19. I love how this recipe ended with Adam being like "yeah it's good but not my favorite given my tastes", refreshing honesty

  20. My gf, from Emilia-Romagna, will use milk instead of wine and then skim the fat off the top at that stage. She also makes it with a lot more tomato

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