This delicious Authentic Bolognese Sauce or Ragu alla Bolognese is made with few ingredients and lots of patience. A true Bolognese takes time, but it is so worth it.
I have been asked a few times for a Traditional Bolognese Sauce and after asking some friends and family, I am happy to say this is about an Authentic Bolognese Sauce is going to get without going to Bologna.
After spending a few days in Milan last spring, my eldest daughter who is a lover of anything and everything Lasagna, decided she had to try La Lasagna Milanese, which is made with a Bolognese Sauce.
The Lasagna consists of Bolognese Sauce, Besciamella Sauce, Parmesan Cheese and Lasagna noodles. A very rich and delicious Pasta dish. And yes she loved every mouth full.
Although she also said she prefers our Classic Lasagna.
How to make Bolognese Sauce
- Start by chopping the carrot, celery and onion very finely, but not too fine that it turns into a pulp.
- Then in a medium to large pot add the olive oil and the chopped vegetables, cook the mixture covered on low heat until the onion is transparent.
- Raise the heat to medium and add the ground beef and pork, stirring and breaking up the meat as it cooks and browns.
- Raise the heat to high and add the red wine and cook until the wine has evaporated.
- The liquid should evaporate without burning the meat or veggies.
- Lower the heat to medium and add the tomato paste and Tomato Puree (not stewed or pelati or fresh tomatoes), salt pepper and a whole bay leaf or two.
- Bring the sauce to a boil, then gradually lower the heat to the lowest level. Cover the pot, and stir occasionally.
- The sauce must cook slow and low for three hours, do not boil or the sauce will burn.
- During the last 15-20 minutes of cooking, raise the heat a little and cook on a slow boil, stirring often.
- After three hours remove the bay leaf and add the milk, heat the sauce thoroughly, for a couple of minutes.
- Serve over cooked pasta.
Why add milk to the Bolognese Sauce?
There are two reasons that milk is added to the sauce, one because it gives it a more delicate taste and two it removes the acidity that comes from the tomatoes.
What is the best pasta to serve with Bolognese Sauce?
In Italy, Ragu Bolognese is actually only served with Linguine, Gnocchi or Tortellini. You need the thicker pasta to hold all that meat sauce.
What to serve for dessert?
Tips for making the Best Bolognese Sauce
- Use an equal part of ground beef and pork, make sure it is not too lean, more on the fatty side.
- Be sure to cut (with a knife) the carrot, celery stalk and onion finely but not so much that it may become pulpy.
- Sautee your vegetables first on low heat then add the meat, which is cooked on a higher heat.
- True Bolognese is cooked on the lowest heat for at least three hours.
There is no such thing as a quick Bolognese Sauce, Authentic Bolognese must be slow cooked for three hours, nothing rushed here.
And when you try it, you’ll know it was worth every minute.
More Authentic Italian Recipes
I’m sure this sauce was the actual reason for the Italian saying “Fai la Scarpetta” or “Make the little shoe” which means grab a piece of bread and wipe up any left over sauce in your plate, that way you enjoy every last bite! Buon Appetito.
Authentic Bolognese Sauce
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small/medium carrot
- 1 small celery stalk
- 1 small onion
- 10 1/2 ounces ground beef (not too lean)
- 10 1/2 ounces ground pork
- 1/2 cup dry red wine
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 2 1/4 cups tomato puree (passata)
- 2-3 pinches salt
- 2 dashes pepper
- 1-2 whole bay leaves
- 1/3 cup milk (2 % or whole milk)
- Cut the carrot, celery and onion very fine (must not too much that it becomes pulpy when cooked).
- In a medium to large heavy pot add the olive oil and chopped vegetables, cook covered on low heat (stirring occasionally) until onion is transparent.
- Increase the heat to medium and add the ground beef and pork. Stirring as the meat is cooking to break up the pieces. Once the meat has browned turned the heat up to high and add the wine.
- Cook until the alcohol has evaporated (about 20-30 seconds) and the liquid has evaporated. Decrease the heat to medium/low and add the tomato paste, puree, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Gradually decrease the heat to the lowest setting cover and let simmer for three hours (the mixture should not boil). Stir occasionally.
- After the time has passed remove the bay leaf and add the milk, heat thoroughly for a couple of minutes. Serve over cooked pasta. Enjoy!