Best Keto Italian Ragú aka Bolognese Sauce: the classic way…with some keto extras.
Just like mama used to make. For real. This recipe was passed on to me by my mum and is the tastiest ever, ragú or bolognese sauce you’ll ever eat.
My original ragú recipe was buried within my ricotta gnocchi post and wasn’t easy to find at all. I thought tagging would be enough, but apparently, lots of people don’t realise that by entering a keyword in the search box you could find it. So many readers have asked me to re-publish this recipe so it’s more visible, that I had to oblige. It actually made sense to write a post dedicated solely to this wonderful Italian recipe, anyway, so here it is.
Best Keto Italian Ragú aka Bolognese Sauce is naturally a low carb dish, so I have to confess to not really changing the classic mama recipe much. My recipe will yield 4 servings at 2.5g carbs each.
Don’t be put off by the long cooking time. It takes a mere few minutes of preparation. The rest is just simmering time and all you have to do is give it a stir every 15-20 mins or so. You could make it the day before, if you want to save time. Just don’t be tempted to cut back on the long cooking: it is that long, slow cooking that infuses flavours and intensifies the taste. I know that many people will tell you that they can knock up a Bolognese in 10 minutes. Yes, undoubtedly the meat will be cooked, but it will just be a watery, tomato-y, tasteless sauce. Stick to my recipe and you’ll discover the difference.
My Best Keto Italian Ragú aka Bolognese Sauce keeps for several days in the fridge without losing any flavour, but you may want to divide it into portions and freeze them for another occasion. Ragú is a basic but extremely versatile dish. Eat it with low carb pasta or zoodles or shirataki noodles, topped with lots of Parmesan cheese. Use it to stuff courgettes (zucchini), peppers or any other vegetable you fancy. Add mushrooms and cream, or chopped courgettes, for variety.
If the fat content isn’t high enough for your keto macros, or if you prefer creamy sauces as I do (oh the joys of keto living!), just add mascarpone cheese or cream, or butter, or a dollop of coconut oil (or all 4!!!).
And if you prefer spicier food, knock yourself out with chopped chillies or extra cayenne pepper or both.
As for the type of minced meat, the world is your oyster: pork, beef, sausage meat or even game meat will do. I prefer a mix of pork and beef, with some added pancetta to raise the fat content, but the choice is yours. Don’t you just love the ketogenic ‘diet’? I still can’t believe that not so long ago I was careful to buy everything low fat and low calories in order to cook ‘healthy’ meals for my family. And here I am today, constantly finding ways to increase my fat intake!
How to make the Best Keto Italian Ragú aka Bolognese sauce.
You’ll be pleased to know that my lazy one-pot favourite is back again. Splash of extra virgin olive oil, butter and minced garlic + shallot. 1 minute to soften, then you add the meat and cook it quickly till browny-grey all over. Add everything else and let it simmer away while you relax. I love one-pot cooking. Couldn’t be easier.
So you’ve noticed I said ‘minced’ garlic + shallot. I mince garlic and a tiny amount of shallot (literally a thumb nail size amount) because I have an allergy to alliums that flares up if I’m not careful. If you like onions, feel free to add a whole one, but be sure to chop it finely, as traditional ragú should not be overpowered by chunky onion bits or be too garlicky.
1 hour and 15 minutes later, your Best Keto Italian Ragú aka Bolognese sauce will be ready. You can serve it any way you like. So many choices. And if you want to add fat, mix in some mascarpone cheese, butter or cream at the last minute and there you have it: a ketofied best Italian ragú aka bolognese sauce.
My favourite? Keto spag bol: ragú with mascarpone and gorgonzola on a bed of black bean spaghetti topped with freshly grated Parmesan, as seen in the photos. Such a delicious meal and just 7.7g carbs in total.
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- Servings: 4
- Serving size: ¼
- Calories: 434
- Fat: 37g
- Net Carbs: 1.7g
- Protein: 22g
- 500g minced beef
- 1 shallot
- 1 garlic clove
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 20g butter
- 150g sieved tomatoes (passata)
- 15g tomato concentrate
- ¼ tsp ground cloves
- ¼ tsp ground cinnamon
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper (or more if you like it spicy)
- ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
- ¼ tsp turmeric
- 2 bay leaves
- ¼ tsp paprika
- ½ teaspoon organic broth granules (or 1 stock cube - chopped)
- ¾ tsp fine Himalayan pink salt
- 50ml water
- a handful of chopped parsley
- put olive oil into a medium size saucepan, add butter, minced shallot and minced garlic clove and sauté for 1 minute on high heat.
- add the meat and stir it until it has changed colour, then incorporate all other ingredients except parsley.
- bring back to the boil, then reduce heat to minimum and put lid on.
- simmer for 75 mins, stirring occasionally and adding a little water (no more than 30-50ml at a time) occasionally, if the ragú appears too dry or starts to stick to the bottom of the pan.
- when 10 mins cooking time remain, taste the ragú and adjust salt and spices to suit your taste.
- turn heat off, add chopped parsley and stir.
It will keep several days in the fridge (but don't add cream or mascarpone until you're ready to use it).
Portion it and freeze it for later use (again, without mascarpone or cream).
* If using Explore Asian Black Bean Spaghetti, a 40g individual portion will add 6g carbs to your macros..
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