Felicity Cloake’s bolognese

Felicity Cloake’s bolognese
  • Serves icon Serves 4
  • Time icon Hands-on time 45 min. Simmering time 1 hour 30 min

This bolognese recipe uses chicken livers to give a rich gaminess to the ragù.


  • Generous knob of butter
  • 100g British free-range smoked streaky bacon, finely diced
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, finely chopped
  • 250g coarsely minced British beef, at room temperature
  • 40g British free-range chicken livers, finely chopped (See Food team’s tip)
  • 150ml whole milk
  • Nutmeg for grating
  • 150ml dry white wine
  • 400ml tin plum tomatoes
  • Tagliatelle and grated parmesan, to serve


  1. Melt the butter in a large flameproof casserole set over a gentle heat, then add the bacon. Once the bacon fat has started to melt, add the onion, and cook gently until softened, then tip in the carrot, and cook for 5 minutes before adding the celery and cooking for a further 2 minutes.
  2. Crumble the beef into the pan and brown, stirring occasionally to break up any lumps. Season, then stir in the chicken liver (see tip) and cook for another 5 minutes.
  3. Heat the oven to 125C/fan115C/gas 1/2. Pour in the milk, and grate a little nutmeg over the top. Simmer gently until almost all the milk has evaporated, which should take about 10 minutes.
  4. Pour in the wine and the tomatoes and stir well. Bring everything to a simmer then put the casserole into the oven, with the lid slightly ajar, and cook for at least 3 hours (4 is even better) until the meat is very tender. Check on it occasionally and top up with a little water if it seems too dry, although this probably won’t be necessary. Serve with pasta or gnocchi and grated parmesan or pecorino cheese

delicious. tips

  1. The chicken livers here give a rich gaminess to the ragù. However, if you’re not a fan, just omit them – it will still taste fantastic.

  2. The cooked ragù will sit, covered, in the fridge for 3 days, or you can freeze for up to 3 months.


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