Rich and rustic ragú alla bolognese slowly simmered with tender short rib, making a mind-blowingly amazing sauce. Pure Italian comfort food for colder months.

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The runner up from that IG poll! For the ragu lovers!

It’s the end of summerrrrrrrrr!

Y’all may not be excited about that but I AM! Because that means it’s about to be fall (and I am the fall QUEEN~ not to mention I am over this Miami summer heat and rain. Really over it.) and fall comfort food and pumpkin everything and I’m too excited!

That brings me to this: ragu! Or bolognese, which is kind of the generic ‘meat sauce’ of America. But real bolognese is something very different. While this recipe involves Italian crushed tomatoes, cream, and is served on egg tagliatelle pasta, I won’t call it authentic at all.

What I will tell you is, is that it is probably one of the best variations around. Authentic ragu from Italy involves pancetta, ricotta, milk, and ground beef, slow cooked for four hours and served over tagliatelle with some parm. But, uh, I use short rib.

Short rib is used instead of ground beef, which is the typical meat in this sauce. But I say that short rib is 1000x better than ground beef! It’s like chuck roast’s well marbled, super-tender sister (or brother) that’s slow cooked to fall apart and melt in your mouth.  It’s affordable and just two pounds makes more than enough bolognese to save and freeze for many meals to come. Once you try ragu with slowly simmered short rib, you may never go back to ground beef.

We’ve been coming back to this recipe again and again all through summer (even with the heat!) and everyone who eats it asks for seconds (and sometimes thirds). I know you’ll be loving this all through fall and winter!

P.S. if you can find fresh tagliatelle (or make it yourself) do it! The difference from the typical boxed pasta is insane!

Here are the tools I used for this recipe:

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Short Rib Bolognese (Ragu)
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
6 hr
Total Time
6 hr 5 mins
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Autumn, Comfort Food, Italian, Winter
Servings: 8 -10 servings
Author: Britt Anne
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ yellow onion chopped small
  • 2 carrots peeled and chopped small
  • 2 stalks celery chopped small
  • 3-5 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 lbs boneless short ribs also called flanken
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • ¾ cup cream
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 28 oz imported crushed canned Italian tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
To Serve (not using all the sauce)
  • 1 lb egg tagliatelle
  • Freshly grated parmesan
  1. In a large pot over medium heat, put oil and butter in. Add chopped onion, celery and carrot, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent. Add garlic to pot, stirring well for 1 minute.
  2. Add in short ribs, and season pot well with a large pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper. Stir the pot well, then add cream and let simmer for 10 minutes, stirring frequently.
  3. Add beef broth, tomatoes, and tomato paste stirring well. Turn the heat down to low, so that the sauce is gently, lazily simmering; I’m talking barely bubbling. Cook covered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  4. After 2 hours, uncover and skim the fat that is accumulating on top of the sauce. Cook for 3 ½-4 more hours, stirring occasionally and skimming the fat occasionally. When you stir, you’ll find you will be able to break apart the meat using a wooden spoon. Do this while stirring.
  5. Your sauce is done when the majority of the liquid is reduced and the meat is easy torn apart by the back of your wooden spoon. Taste and season with salt and pepper to preference; if the sauce is too acidic, add 1 tsp to 1 tbsp brown sugar.
  6. Serve over prepared pasta, and fresh parmesan.
Recipe Notes

While sauce is cooking, the liquid should reduce but never go dry. If it does, lower your heat and add ½ cup beef stock or water.


Got a pasta lover in the house? Check out this super-saucy pasta carbonara. It is a 100% hit!

Pasta Carbonara - Sweet Tea & Thyme


Or my super-popular gnocchi with bacon cream sauce. It’s lush and rich and so, so, SO good!

See y’all in the next post!