How to Make a Great Bolognese Sauce Recipe





Introduction: How to Make a Great Bolognese Sauce Recipe

About: Usually making something on this site.

This is a bolognese sauce recipe that I have been using for a long time. It's one of my favorites that I like to make for guests and the family. Bolognese sauce is a meat based sauce that works well with almost any pasta, although I prefer linguine or penne.

If you're a vegetarian, you might want to try this vegan bolognese sauce.

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

Here's what you'll need to get started:

Tomato sauce // 15oz. can
Tomato paste // 2 tbsp
Onion // 1 medium size
Chicken or Beef Stock // 15 oz.
Ground Beef Chuck // 1 lb.
Half & Half or Milk // 1/4 cup
Carrots // 1 large or two smaller
Celery // 1 stalk
Table/Cooking wine // 1/4 cup
Olive Oil // a few tbsp
Parmigiano Reggiano

3 qt sauce pan
6+ qt for cooking pasta
Cheese grater

Step 2: Brown the Meat With the Onions, Start Chopping Carrots and Celery.

Start by chopping up the onions as small as you prefer.

Put a tablespoon of olive oil in your sauce pan.

Add the onions, then add the Ground beef.

Mix the two up and put on medium heat until the meat is browned. Best to keep the lid on it.

While the meat is browning, slice up the carrots and celery as this as you can.

Step 3: Add These Ingredients and Simmer.

Once the meat is browned, which looks like this.

Add these ingredients:

Celery & Carrots
Tomato sauce // 15oz. can
Tomato paste // 2 tbsp
Chicken or Beef Stock // 15 oz.
Wine // 1/4 cup

Mix them up well and let simmer for about 20-30 minutes. I like to see it sort of bubbling, but not too much.

Step 4: You're Almost There.

Add the 1/4 cup half & half or milk. Then let it simmer for atleast another 15 minutes or as long as you like.

Start making the pasta. I prefer it Al Dente, but cook it to your preference. Add some olive oil to your boiling water to keep your pasta from sticking together.

Step 5: Strain the Pasta and Mix in the Sauce.

Strain the pasta in the sink.

Mix the pasta and the sauce in the pasta pan.

Grate the regianno after it's been served. Use the smaller side of the grater.

Enjoy it with some nice wine. You're done!



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    30 Discussions

    I have been making the Bolognese using Roobotikaah comments and suggestions. I am now on the fourth modification to that. First I use a food processor on the onion, celery, and carrots. I use about 6 ounces of bacon and also put that through the food processor. I started with 4 ounces and increased to 5 and now 6. I will almost surely stick with 6. I also use about 1/2 cup of a good Chianti. I kept increasing the quantity of wine until I was satisfied with 1/2 cup and an Italian friend suggested the Chianti. It made a difference. I just finished a batch and tasted it. It is the best I have made. Everyone that has eaten this thinks it is better than they have ever had. My daughter is a professional chef. She agrees. IT IS AMAZING>


    1 reply

    Thanks for sharing your variation. I'll have to give it a try!

    I love it so much that I am making it again! This time without bacon and with a jar of shallots and garlic as we don't have any fresh onions in the house (do what I can without grocery shopping). This sauce froze well, I finally used up my leftovers. Goes a long way! Delicious!

    Thank you for the great recipe! I have it simmering on the stove right now. Your dog looks just like ours (enough that my 4 yo daughter asked if it was Molly!). Thank you again for the recipe. I did add 5 strips of bacon to the recipe to add a bit more fat.

    1 reply

    Thanks for commenting. The bacon sounds like a great addition. I also have daughter who just turned 5.

    adding olive oil to water is a waste of oil....In italy they add the pasta to bubbling water to stop the pasta sticking...oil sits on the top of the water anyway so wont cote the pasta until after it's cooked...Also in Italy the pasta is always added to the sauce, never the sauce to the pasta.....

    1 reply

    Untrue. That's an urban myth. You add the oil to the pasta so the pasta water doesn't foam up and over boil. Also, I've found they do both. They toss the pasta in the sauce for a few seconds, on heat, to infuse the pasta with the flavor, then top it with more of the sauce.

    almost a good recipe, but tinned toms, NO NO NO, MAKE UR OWN SAUCE BY BOILING TOMS UP UR SELF, cherry toms r good boil the kettle pour into a pot with toms lightly boil till skill start to wrinkle , leave it to cool a little then take the skin off, once uv done that add a couple of cloves of garlic 1 stick of celary and some basil mix it up, then brown ur mince add 1-2 onions and a few mushrooms pour sauce in to mince, boil up ur pasta then serve up, it will taste more like wot u get in italy, keep it simple, but dont use tinned stuff get as fresh as u can.

    2 replies

    Years ago a friend's Italian mother told me that the best tomatoe for sauce was San Marzano. Then a few years after that I read where Rao's in New York only used canned San Marzano, shortly thereafter several Foodnetwork chefs including Martha Stewart said the same thing. So if you can't get a fresh San Marzano then the next best thing is canned San Marzano. I've been buying for the past four years and we can really taste the difference in our sauces.

    The comments are great. I might add that venison is awsome in this ragu! Even family members who are "cautious" about new food were awed! Went back for seconds and thirds! Next?...Sloppy Does.

    i used to work as an assistant chef in a couple of kitchens and picked up lots of great tips one for bolognese: at the last stage (while your pasta is cooking) if you think your sauce is too thick, add a handful of porridge oats (about one handful per 6 servings) and leave simmering for 10 minutes to allow the oats to soften. this sounds weird but it works very well and unlike flour/other starches etc. it will add a little extra texture. it's yummy. be sure not to use too many oats or you'll just get meat and tomato flavored porridge. enjoy

    2 replies

    oops, just realised i said that is the sauce was too THICK, add the oats. i meant thin... if it's a bit watery. but i think everyone will get the idea anyway... you instructables lot seem pretty sharp ;)

    Great recipe, but can i suggest that when cooking your pasta just add a bit of salt to the water and no oil. If you stir your pasta as soon as you put it into the water and a few times whilst cooking this should avoid the pasta sticking together. Have heard that adding oil to the water can actually stop the pasta absorbing the flavour of sauces. If cooking pasta to be used at a later stage, run cooked pasta under water until cold to stop cooking process and then add a bit of oil to stop sticking together until you are ready to use it.

    I tried this yesterday. We couldn't stop eating. By far the best pasta sauce I've ever eaten and my own "bolognese" is a bit renowned among friends.

    1 reply

    Thanks for the feedback and glad you liked it. You're the first to actually let me know that you made the sauce!

    As an Italian, I admit I got astonished about your "Bolognese" sauce which contains all the needed ingredients to be perfect, however, let me put some things straight: first of all there is no such a thing like a "Bolognese" sauce... we call it "Ragú alla Bolognese": the word ragú is an italianised version of the french "ragôut" which simply means "wake the taste up". There are many types of ragú in Italy and the Bolognese one is the best known, especially because it is also used for the tasty world famous "lasagne (alla Bolognese)".
    Now, as this recipe was actually committed by the Italian Cuisine Academy some years ago, it is someone's option to go on with his/her own version or follow the original one. I just mention here what differs from your version, only for a cultural thing (try it btw and then choose, yours is amazingly good for a non-Italian ;)).
    You can use fresh or tinned stuff, depending on your budget: however, you should add something like 100 grs minced bacon. Then, you add the wine with the tomato sauce: this is generally wrong; meat is to be stuffed with wine as the alcohol in it normally melts the exceeding fats away. Put the wine and let it evaporate then add the tomato sauce. The carrot and the celery are supposed to brown with the onion even before adding the meat. And that's it!
    No milk in the sauce please! It is wasted as it does not change anything to the sauce taste or texture! In case the sauce "shrinks" too much, put some water... ;)
    **************** In case I sounded any arrogant (and it was not my intention), let me be forgiven by suggesting a quick and tasty recipe, in which you can use cream - but not milk :) - you can use either tomato sauce or skinned tomatoes (once again fresh or tinned it's up to you)... add cream in an equivalent quantity, mix 'em and let them cook. This is called "Aurora" sauce (do not know why, but yet I do not know why I have my name instead of other one). If you are on a diet you can just add some olive oil in the end...otherwise (male preferred version), you can brown some minced onions and garlic before adding the sauce.
    Buon appetito!