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Best Bolognese Sauce recipe

Best Bolognese Sauce recipe


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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Meat and poultry
  • Beef
  • Beef pasta

Rich and saucy! Best served with spaghetti and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


London, England, UK

16 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 800g lean minced beef
  • 1/2 glass red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 2 (400g) tins chopped tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 1 beef stock cube
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 3 large strips of lemon rind (cut from unwaxed lemon with a knife)
  • small pinch dried chilli flakes
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1 large carrot, diced

MethodPrep:10min ›Cook:30min ›Ready in:40min

  1. Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add onion and brown. Add beef and mix thoroughly until cooked through. Pour wine into the mixture and stir through.
  2. Add basil, tinned tomatoes and stir. Then add the rest of the ingredients and stir again.
  3. Cover and leave on a low heat for at least 1/2 an hour, stirring occasionally. The longer you can leave it to stew, the more flavour it will have.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(0)

Reviews in English (1)

Altered ingredient amounts.i used 2 peppers-13 Apr 2011


Best Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese is so much more than just a meat sauce. It&rsquos the ultimate way to transform a package of minced beef into something show-stopping. When the temperature starts to drop, what sounds better than pasta smothered in rich, hearty, umami-bomb bolognese? NOTHING.

Developing these delicious flavours, however, takes a little bit of time. Two hours. That might sound laborious, but it&rsquos really hands off. Time plus low heat allows each ingredient to &ldquodo its job,&rdquo lending its distinct flavour, melding, and transforming your bolognese into something magical. So yeah, we&rsquod say it&rsquos worth it. Here&rsquos how to nail it.

Build your base.

Starting out with a mirepoix, i.e. onion, carrot, and celery, is the foundation for a great bolognese. Finely chop your vegetables, &ldquosweat them out&rdquo in olive oil (you don't want too much colour, sauté them until they're translucent), and they&rsquoll basically disappear into the sauce, leaving their sweet and savoury flavours behind.

Maximise flavour.

Fragrant garlic, rich and tangy tomato paste, a splash of dry white wine (you can use red, too!), and aromatic bay leaf are what amp up the sauce even more, taking your bolognese to the next level. So don't skip any of these building blocks.

Give it time.

Cooking your sauce for a total of almost two hours might seem tedious, but trust us, it&rsquos worth it. Simmering allows the wine to cook off and concentrate and for all the flavors to really get to know each other.

Finish with milk.

Adding milk may sound strange here, but it&rsquos actually ESSENTIAL to rounding out a true bolognese. Simmering milk for 45 minutes turns the sauce silky and the meat tender.

Serve your bolognese over pasta and be sure to garnish with lots of freshly grated Parm. While you&rsquore at it, why not double the recipe and freeze half? Think of it as a gift to yourself on a night when you&rsquore short on time and hungry AF.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • ½ cup finely diced celery
  • ½ cup finely diced carrot
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 ½ pounds ground beef
  • salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste
  • ⅛ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 ½ cups 2% milk
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 (28 ounce) can whole Italian plum tomatoes (preferably San Marzano)
  • 2 cups water, or as needed

Melt butter with olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat cook onion, celery, and carrot with pinch of salt until onion turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir ground beef into vegetables and cook, stirring constantly until meat is crumbly and no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Season meat mixture with 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg.

Pour milk into ground beef mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until most of the milk has evaporated and bottom of pan is still slightly saucy, about 5 minutes.

Raise heat to medium high and pour white wine into ground beef mixture cook and stir until white wine has mostly evaporated, about 5 more minutes.

Pour tomatoes with juice into a large mixing bowl and crush them with your fingers until they resemble a slightly chunky sauce. Pour tomatoes into sauce fill can with 2 cups water and add to sauce. Bring to a simmer.

Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until mixture cooks down into a thick sauce, at least 3 hours but preferably 4 to 6 hours. Skim fat from top of sauce if desired. If sauce is too thick or too hot on the bottom, add a little more water. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving.


Recipe Summary

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1 large onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • ½ pound fresh mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 carrots, shredded
  • 1 stalk celery, chopped
  • 1 (28 ounce) can Italian plum tomatoes
  • 6 ounces tomato sauce
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • ½ cup chicken stock
  • ½ teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 pound pasta

In a large skillet, warm oil over medium heat and saute bacon, onion and garlic until bacon is browned and crisp set aside.

In large saucepan, brown beef and pork. Drain off excess fat. Stir in bacon mixture, mushrooms, carrots, celery, tomatoes, tomato sauce, wine, stock, basil, oregano, salt and pepper to saucepan. Cover, reduce heat and simmer one hour, stirring occasionally.

Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente drain.


How to Make Bolognese Taste Better

Onion, celery and carrot. Imparting flavor but not texture, once this sauce is cooked you’ll never even know a vegetable was added to it. The key is that they melt into the meat when cooked. Roughly chopped then added to the food processor, minced veggies create the mirepoix, or Holy Trinity of flavors for the base of this sauce. If you don’t have a food processor, use a grater or finely mince the veggies instead.

Bay leaves and red pepper flakes. It’s amazing how much flavor is created with just these two simple ingredients. Save the garlic and other herbs for other pasta sauces another time.

Skip the garlic. There’s no garlic in authentic bolognese. Save it for recipes like my favorite marinara or pomodoro sauce.


This is the best Bolognese sauce recipe on the internet. Bolognese sauce, or ragù, is a meat based sauce that was first made in Bologna, Italy. Genuine bolognese sauceinvolves slowly cooking the sauce, and other different techniques like sweating, sauteing and braising. The sauce is gently simmered until it becomes a thick sauce. It is served on various pasta and in lasagna.

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Ingredients

  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 4 small carrots, finely chopped
  • 4 minced garlic cloves
  • 4 stalks celery finely diced
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 3 Tblsp olive oil
  • 2 lb ground meat
  • 1/4 lb bacon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 1 - 1 1/2 tsp rubbed sage
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 28 oz can Italian style crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 cups milk

Method

Step 1

Heat butter and oil together in a large sauce pan over medium heat. Once the butter melts and the saucepan is hot add garlic saute for a minute. Then add onions, carrots and celery. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Step 2

Add the meat a little at a time. this allows it's liquid to evaporate allowing your meat to brown not boil.After all the meat is added and no pink is seen and making sure the meat is broken up not lumpy cook for anther 15 minutes allowing your meat to caramelize and become crunchy in spots. You are aiming for golden pieces of meat stickingto bottom of pan but watch to make sure it does not burn. Once it starts to caramelize lower the heat to continue cooking the rest of the 15 minutes.

Step 3

After the 15 minutes make sure you have the heat at medium and add the white wine. Using your spoon now scrape the golden brown bits of meat stuck on the bottom of the pan. Make sure you have it all scrape, stirring the mixture around. By the time you get it scraped the wine should be evaporated as well. Take care not to let the meat burn or stick again.

Step 4

Add milk, tomatoes, beef stock and spices. Stir together good and then let this simmer for about 4 hours or until you reach the desired thickness. Serve on pasta with a side of Cesar salad and garlic bread.

Heat butter and oil together in a large sauce pan over medium heat.

Once the butter melts and the saucepan is hot add garlic saute for a minute.

Then add onions, carrots and celery. Saute for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Add the meat a little at a time. this allows it’s liquid to evaporate allowing your meat to brown not boil.After all the meat is added and no pink is seen and making sure the meat is broken up not lumpy cook for anther 15 minutes allowing your meat to caramelize and become crunchy in spots. You are aiming for golden pieces of meat sticking to bottom of pan but watch to make sure it does not burn. Once it starts to caramelize lower the heat to continue cooking the rest of the 15 minutes.

After the 15 minutes make sure you have the heat at medium and add the white wine. Using your spoon now scrape the golden brown bits of meat stuck on the bottom of the pan. Make sure you have it all scrape, stirring the mixture around. By the time you get it scraped the wine should be evaporated as well. Take care not to let the meat burn or stick again.

Add milk, tomatoes, beef stock and spices. Stir together good and then let this simmer for about 4 hours or until you reach the desired thickness. Serve on pasta with a side of Cesar salad and garlic bread.


Classic ragu bolognese

Active time: 2 hours | Total time: 5 hours

Inspired and informed by outstanding recipes by Lidia Bastianich, Domenica Marchetti and Thomas McNaughton, this is Leslie Brenner’s (who is the editor in chief of Cooks Without Borders) favourite way to make ragu alla bolognese.

Legions of nonnas and authors have opined that the essential element for Bologna’s signature sauce is time. This recipe takes about 4½ hours to cook – and that’s once you have everything prepped.

It’s important to finely chop the onion, carrot and celery for the soffritto. The diminutive size, aided by the long, slow cooking, will allow the vegetables to melt into the ragu. Equally important are the minced beef and pork, which should be the best quality you can get, and are browned together slowly for about an hour. A pot wide enough to have plenty of surface area for the slow browning is essential to success.

If you’re using the ragu to dress tagliatelle or other pasta, when the ragu is finished and you’re ready to serve, transfer the amount of sauce you need to a large saute pan, keeping it warm while the pasta cooks. When the pasta is nearly done, spoon a little of the pasta cooking water into the ragu and stir it in, then use tongs to transfer the tagliatelle into the sauce, toss gently and cook for another minute before serving.

Storage notes: Leftovers can be refrigerated for up to three days or frozen for up to two months.

Ingredients

113g pancetta, cut into 1¼cm cubes

6tbsp unsalted butter, divided

1 medium yellow onion, very finely chopped (see headnote)

1 medium carrot, very finely chopped (see headnote)

1 large or 2 smaller celery stalks with tender leaves, if any, very finely chopped

450g beef mince (20 per cent fat, ideally grass-fed)

450g pork mince (ideally pasture-raised)

700ml good quality shop-bought chicken broth or homemade beef stock

235ml dry white wine, such as pinot grigio

225g tomato puree or tinned tomatoes and juices, passed through a food mill or pureed in a food processor or blender

Freshly ground black pepper

Freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese, for serving (optional)

In a mini food processor, combine the pancetta and garlic, pulse a few times to break up the pieces, then process until it becomes a smooth paste.

Scrape the paste into a large, wide casserole dish or other heavy-bottomed pot, along with two tablespoons of the butter. Melt them together over medium heat, spreading the paste around with a wooden spoon. Cook until the fat is mostly rendered, about four minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the onion, carrot and celery – the soffritto – and cook slowly over medium-low heat, stirring frequently enough so the soffritto doesn’t brown – until the onion is soft, translucent and pale gold, which takes about 15 minutes.

Add the minced beef and pork to the pot, increase the heat to medium, and break up the meat with a wooden spoon as much as possible. Once the meat starts to faintly sizzle, reduce the heat to medium-low. Let the meat brown slowly, stirring occasionally and continuing to break up any remaining clumps, for about one hour, until evenly browned and burnished.

When the meat is nearly done browning, in a medium saucepan over high heat, heat the broth until simmering cover and keep hot over low heat until ready to use.

Increase the heat under the browned meat to medium-high and stir in the wine, scraping up any browned bits or deposits on the bottom of the pan. Cook and stir until the wine is mostly soaked in and evaporated, about three minutes. Stir in the salt and nutmeg, reduce the heat to medium-low and add the milk, cooking and stirring until it is barely visible, for about three minutes.

Measure 470ml of the hot broth and dissolve the tomato paste in it. Stir the broth with paste into the meat sauce, then stir in the tomato puree (keep the unused broth handy in the pot in case you need to reheat it and add more to the sauce later). Partially cover the pot and let the sauce simmer slowly and gently, stirring occasionally, until it is thick and all the components begin to melt together, for about two hours.

Stir the sauce – if it is starting to look at all dry, reheat the remaining chicken broth, ladle in a little more, about 120ml, and stir. Continue to simmer gently, uncovered, stirring occasionally and adding a little more hot broth or water as needed, until the vegetables have completely melted into the sauce, for about one hour.

Cut the remaining four tablespoons of butter into a few pieces and stir them into the sauce add about 20 grinds of freshly ground black pepper and stir that in, too. Taste, and season with more salt and/or pepper, if desired.

Nutrition (based on 12 servings) | Calories: 336 total fat: 25g saturated fat: 11g cholesterol: 77mg sodium: 593mg carbohydrates: 8g dietary fibre: 1g sugar: 4g protein: 16g.


Bolognese Meat Sauce

Ragù, as the Bolognese call their celebrated meat sauce, is characterized by mellow, gentle, comfortable flavor that any cook can achieve by being careful about a few basic points.

The meat should not be from too lean a cut the more marbled it is, the sweeter the ragù will be. The most desirable cut of beef is the neck portion of the chuck. Add salt immediately when sautéing the meat to extract its juices for the subsequent benefit of the sauce. Cook the meat in milk before adding wine and tomatoes to protect it from the acidic bite of the latter. Do not use a demiglace or other concentrates that tip the balance of flavors toward harshness. Use a pot that retains heat. Earthenware is preferred in Bologna and by most cooks in Emilia-Romagna, but enameled cast-iron pans or a pot whose heavy bottom is composed of layers of steel alloys are fully satisfactory. Cook, uncovered, at the merest simmer for a long, long time no less than 3 hours is necessary, more is better.


What you’ve been calling “spag Bol” all these years, is in fact spaghetti incorrectly served with a meat ragù (meat slow-cooked with veg) that originated in Bologna. A proper ragù Bolognese needs a wider noodle like fresh pappardelle or tagliatelle, or a more robust shape like penne or rigatoni. An authentic meat ragù also has very little tomato and starts with the soffrito-diced onions, celery and carrot sautéed slowly in olive oil until fragrant.

This recipe takes between 6 and 8 hours to cook, so is best made when you have time on your hands. Use a slow-cooked, bone-in beef brisket for a flavoursome dish.

What is your favourite way to make Bolognese? Tell us in the comments below!

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.


Bolognese Sauce (The Best)

Best Bolognaise sauce ever! Everytime I make it it's a huge hit!

Laure H.

Delicious! Did not find the pancetta and mortadella — replaced with bacon and it was delicious. Very tasty and super easy! Thank you again for a great recipe!

Michelle T.

I had made this recipe last night and I have to say, it is truly one of the best sauces i've ever had. I made this without the pancetta and mortadella (I did not have it on hand) and it was still so so so good. I also used rigatoni noodles instead. It made me a little nervous to cook the meats without draining (as I normally do) but all the juices evaporated with some patience. I will be making this many more times to come! Thanks for such a great recipe.

Bill M.

This is the best bolognese sauce! Everyone loved it with fresh fettuccine and fresh grated Parmesan. Even my little precious Grandson loved it! All over his face too.

Karine A.

This sauce is just the best one ever. I absolutely love it and so did my guests!

Chantal s.

At last, a bolognese sauce that is as close to the original one from Bologne as can be. We are not here into the north american version that I grew up with. The famous 'sauce à spagatte' as we name it in French from our childhood (that I also love by the way). Notice that the tomatoes are not present and the addition of wine and milk, this latter being essential as are the fresh herbs. A delight with tagliatelles. Thank you so much for going authentic once again Ricardo. Chantal

Susan T.

Just going over some of my favourite recipes from your site Ricardo, so I was compelled to log in and give my reviews on a few recent dishes. I am so happy to say everything I have made has been phenomenal from appetizers to desserts! I have come to depend on your recipes to provide my family and guests with impressive meals that receive rave reviews and compliments, that keep everyone asking. When are you making that again? . to. May I please have that recipe?! I love your magazine too! Thanks so much!