This Traditional Italian Beef Ragu Recipe simmers slowly to give it tremendous flavor. It is sure to be a favorite weekend meal. Toss it with your favorite pasta and enjoy with a nice glass of wine.
This is a family favorite meal and it is another classic Italian dish that we like to make on a Sunday afternoon. The slow simmer allows the family time to spend together.
And it makes a great fall time cozy comforting meal.
What is the Difference Between a Ragu and a Bolognese?
I’d like to explain this a bit because they are similar sauces. However, there are some slight differences to each sauce.
A ragu is a meat based sauce with a little bit of tomato added to it. It also contains a combination of minced vegetables, such as, carrots, onions, and sometimes celery.
A ragu sauce also simmers slowly in red wine, beef broth, and usually has a little bit of heavy cream added towards the end to lighten the color.
Now, a bolognese is a variation of ragu — Ragu alla Bolognese. It uses a white wine and less tomatoes.
So really it comes down to slight variations.
What Pasta to Use with the Beef Ragu Recipe
Usually I serve a ragu sauce with spaghetti noodles. But feel free to pair this sauce with your favorite pasta noodle!
The general rule of thumb is to serve a thicker sauce with a wider noodle. A couple of varieties of wide pasta noodles are pappardelle and mafalde.
A ragu sauce also makes a great choice for a homemade lasagna.
Beef Ragu Recipe
- Heat up olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet or dutch oven. Add the chopped onion and carrots. Sauté the carrots and onions together until the onions become translucent – just a few minutes.
- Add the minced garlic to the pan and stir until fragrant. Just a minute or so – be careful not to burn the garlic because it becomes bitter.
- Stir in the ground beef and brown completely. I would recommend a less greasy ground beef for this recipe. Otherwise, drain out the excess grease.
- Once beef is cooked through, add in the salt and tomato paste and mix well.
- Then add the wine and broth. Simmer on medium low for about 2 – 2 1/2 hours or until the broth has simmered down completely.
- If the liquid evaporates too soon, you can also add in a little more broth or water.
- When the sauce is finished cooking, stir in the heavy cream. The sauce should be thick and not runny like a traditional marinara.
- Prepare the pasta according to the package instructions. Don’t forget to salt the pasta water!
- Lay your cooked and drained pasta over a nice platter and pour the ragu sauce over top for a pretty presentation. Or you can mix the ragu sauce in with the pasta noodles.
- Serve & enjoy!