Ragu alla Bolognese

Tom Parker Bowles cooks up a traditional Italian pasta sauce with beef, prosciutto and chicken livers
By Tom Parker Bowles
Ragu alla Bolognese
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 5
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 3 slices prosciutto, finely chopped
  • 3 chicken livers, finely chopped
  • 300 ml cold milk
  • 300 ml veal stock
  • 1 x 400 g plum tomatoes
  • 625 g ground organic beef, (neck or chuck steak)
  • 300 ml hot milk
  • 150 ml dry white wine

To serve

  • cooked papardelle pasta
  • parmesan shavings


1. Heat the oil in large heavy pan, add onions and cook gently until translucent but not browned. Add the celery and carrots and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes more, then add the prosciutto and chicken livers and keep stirring for around a minute, until the livers are just cooked and still a little pink. Now pour the cold milk into the pan.

2. Heat the stock and plum tomatoes together in a medium saucepan over a medium heat until hot. Add the ground beef, season with salt and pepper, and cook for about 5 minutes (should still be slightly pink).

3. Next add the beef to the chicken liver mixture. Pour in the wine and cook until the alcohol has burnt off (about 3 minutes). Reduce the heat to medium-low, pour in the hot milk and cook for 10 minutes.

4. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 2½ - 3 hours, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

5. Serve with cooked papardelle pasta and sprinkle with parmesan shavings.

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