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Biba's Tagliatelle and Bolognese Ragu

This recipe is brought to us by renowned chef and author Biba Caggiano, of Biba's restaurant in Sacramento, California.

  • Servings: 6
Biba's Tagliatelle and Bolognese Ragu

Source: Martha Stewart Living Television


  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely minced yellow onions
  • 1/2 cup finely minced carrots
  • 1/2 cup finely minced celery
  • 1/2 cup (2 to 3 ounces) thickly sliced pancetta, finely minced
  • 1 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1/2 pound ground pork loin
  • 1/2 cup medium-bodied red wine, such as a Chianti Classico
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 3 tablespoons double-concentrated Italian tomato paste, diluted in 3 cups Biba's Meat Broth, or canned low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup milk, preferably whole milk
  • 1 pound imported dried tagliatelle
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


  1. Make the ragu: Heat the oil and 2 tablespoons of the butter together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. As soon as butter begins to foam, add the minced vegetables. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables have a nice golden color. Add the pancetta, and cook until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the ground beef and pork, raise heat to high, and cook, stirring and breaking up meat with a wooden spoon, until meat and vegetables have a rich brown color and bottom of pan is glazed, 7 to 8 minutes.

  2. Add the wine and cook, stirring, until almost all of it has evaporated. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in the diluted tomato paste. As soon as liquid comes to a boil, reduce heat to low, partially cover pan, and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring and checking sauce every 20 minutes. The sauce should be thick, with an appealing nutty brown color, and just slightly liquid. Add a bit more broth or water if the sauce looks too dry.

  3. Add the milk, partially cover, and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes longer. Taste, and adjust the seasoning. Turn off the heat.

  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the tagliatelle, and cook until pasta is tender but still firm to the bite. Drain the pasta, and place in a large heated bowl.

  5. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter, about two thirds of the sauce, and a small handful of the cheese. Toss quickly until pasta and sauce are well combined. Add more sauce if needed. Serve at once, with the cheese.

Reviews (4)

  • apcakewalk 22 Oct, 2014

    This recipe brought me right back to Tuscany. I have tried many recipes for authentic Bolognese and this one finally made the cut! I have made this recipe many times now. I use it in my lasagna's, over polenta and gnocchi. Absolutely fabulous. Perfect for entertaining!

  • richardspada 13 Apr, 2013

    By far the best, most authentic, restaurant quality and Italian ragu I have EVER made and eaten.

  • Kellyalready 10 Nov, 2011

    Fantastic recipe, worth every minute. I often make big batch recipes then freeze, adding the milk later when I'm finishing the final portion.

  • kygal 18 Jul, 2010

    Excellent, authentic recipe. It takes close to 3 hours from start to finish, but the effort is well worth the time. I served it with gnocchi, rather than the tagliatelle. I also doubled the recipe, as I wanted plenty to freeze. If you are looking for a great, true bolognese sauce, try this will not be disappointed! (Also, I did substitute regular american bacon for the pancetta...the sauce was still fantastic.)

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