Heavenly Homemade Bolognese Sauce

I’ve been making Bolognese sauce for years, and it’s always been one of my favorite dishes to make. It’s savory, hearty, and incredibly flavorful, and it’s the perfect meal for a cold winter night. I love the combination of beef and pork, the rich tomato flavor, and the herbs that give it that unmistakable Italian flavor. Plus, it’s easy to make, so it’s a great choice for busy weeknights.

Bolognese Recipe

Prep Time

20 mins

Cook Time

160 mins

Total Time

180 mins


8 servings



  • 1. 4 ounces pancetta bacon, finely diced
  • 2. 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3. 2 onions, finely diced
  • 4. 3 carrots, finely diced
  • 5. 3 stalks celery, finely diced
  • 6. 1 pound 85% lean ground beef
  • 7. 1 pound ground pork
  • 8. ½ cup dry white wine
  • 9. 1 (28 ounce) can San Marzano whole peeled tomatoes, drained
  • 10. ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 11. ½ teaspoon salt
  • 12. ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 13. 1 cup beef stock
  • 14. ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 15. 1 (16 ounce) box tagliatelle pasta
  • 16. ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese, or to taste


  • Heat a large pot over medium heat and add the pancetta. Cook until lightly browned and crispy, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the olive oil, onions, carrots, and celery and cook until softened, about 8 minutes.
  • Add the ground beef and ground pork and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is no longer pink, about 10 minutes.
  • Pour in the white wine and stir to combine. Simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the San Marzano tomatoes, nutmeg, salt, and crushed red pepper. Stir to combine and simmer for 30 minutes.
  • Pour in the beef stock and heavy cream, stirring to combine. Simmer for an additional 30 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the tagliatelle pasta and cook until al dente, about 8 minutes.
  • Drain the pasta and add it to the Bolognese sauce. Stir to combine and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Serve the Bolognese with Parmesan cheese, if desired. Enjoy!

Nutrition Facts

  • Serving size: 1/4 of recipe
  • Calories: 360
  • Total Fat: 20 g
  • Saturated Fat: 7 g
  • Cholesterol: 75 mg
  • Sodium: 710 mg
  • Total Carbohydrate: 18 g
  • Dietary Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugars: 8 g
  • Protein: 23 g

What is the history of bolognese sauce?

The history of Bolognese sauce dates back to the 19th century, when the dish was first served in the city of Bologna, Italy. Bolognese sauce is a meat-based sauce, traditionally made with beef and pork, tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and white wine. It is often served over pasta such as spaghetti, and is a classic Italian-American dish.

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The earliest known recipe for Bolognese sauce is attributed to Pellegrino Artusi, an Italian food writer who published a cookbook in 1891. In this recipe, Artusi suggests that the sauce is made with minced beef, pork, tomato, and onion. He also includes wine and milk as optional ingredients.

In the early 1900s, Bolognese sauce was popularized by Italian immigrants to the United States. In the 1940s, the sauce was featured in a number of cookbooks, including The Joy of Cooking by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker. This recipe featured ground beef, pork, butter, onion, carrots, celery, tomato paste, white wine, and milk. This version of Bolognese sauce is still popular in the United States today.

Since its introduction to the United States, Bolognese sauce has become a popular dish in many countries around the world. In particular, it has become a staple of Italian-American cuisine. In addition to being served over pasta, the sauce is also used as the base for lasagna, lasagna soup, and even pizza.

The history of Bolognese sauce is a testament to its popularity and staying power. This hearty and flavorful sauce is sure to be enjoyed for many years to come.

What ingredients are essential for a classic bolognese sauce?

When it comes to making a classic bolognese sauce, there are some essential ingredients that you will need. The key elements include ground beef, onion, garlic, tomatoes, tomato paste, beef stock, white wine, and herbs such as oregano and basil.

Ground beef is the base of the sauce, providing the flavor and texture of the sauce. It is best to use high-quality beef that has at least 20 percent fat in it, as this will provide the best flavor and texture.

Onion and garlic are used to give the sauce a deeper flavor and aroma. They should be finely chopped and sautéed in some olive oil before adding the other ingredients.

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Tomatoes and tomato paste are essential for the classic Bolognese sauce. The tomatoes provide the body and texture, while the tomato paste adds a deep, rich flavor.

Beef stock is often used to provide the liquid element of the sauce. The stock should be simmered for several minutes before adding the other ingredients.

White wine is also essential for a classic bolognese sauce. It adds a nice acidity and depth of flavor to the sauce.

Finally, herbs such as oregano and basil are essential for giving the sauce a classic Italian flavor. Fresh herbs are best, but dried herbs can be used as well.

These are the key ingredients for making a classic bolognese sauce. When used together, they create a flavorful sauce that is perfect for serving over your favorite pasta.

How does a bolognese sauce differ from other sauces?

Bolognese sauce is a classic Italian sauce, originating from the city of Bologna, that differs from other sauces in its preparation and flavor. Here are some ways that a Bolognese sauce is distinct:

  • Preparation: A Bolognese sauce is made from a combination of ground beef or pork, onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, white wine, and seasonings like garlic, parsley, oregano, and bay leaf. This combination is slowly simmered and thickened to create a hearty and flavorful sauce.
  • Flavor: Bolognese sauce is known for its distinct flavor, which is a combination of the sweet and savory flavors of the vegetables, herbs, and the richness of the ground beef or pork.
  • Texture: Bolognese sauce is usually thick and creamy, with a noticeable chunky texture from the vegetables and ground meat.
  • Serving: Bolognese sauce is typically served over pasta, like spaghetti or lasagna, but can also be used as a topping for other dishes, such as pizza or potatoes.

What are some creative ways to serve bolognese?

There are many creative ways to serve bolognese sauce, ranging from classic Italian dishes to more inventive creations. Here are a few ideas to take your bolognese to the next level of flavor:

  • Stuffed Shells: This classic Italian dish is a perfect way to serve bolognese. Cook jumbo shells according to package directions, then fill each shell with a generous scoop of bolognese. Top with mozzarella and bake for 25 minutes or until the cheese is golden and bubbly.
  • Baked Spaghetti: Layer cooked spaghetti noodles, bolognese, parmesan cheese, and mozzarella cheese in a 9×13 inch baking dish. Bake at 350°F for 20-25 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
  • Bolognese Lasagna: Layer cooked lasagna noodles with bolognese sauce, ricotta cheese, mozzarella cheese, and parmesan cheese. Bake at 350°F for 30-35 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
  • Bolognese Pizza: Spread bolognese on your favorite pizza crust and top with mozzarella cheese. Bake at 425°F for 15-20 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and lightly browned.
  • Bolognese Grilled Cheese: Spread bolognese on one side of two slices of bread. Top with mozzarella cheese and cook in a skillet over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes, or until the cheese is melted.
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No matter how you serve it, bolognese is sure to be a hit with your family and friends. With these creative ideas, you can enjoy this delicious Italian sauce in a variety of new and delicious ways.

What type of pasta pairs best with a bolognese sauce?

The best type of pasta to pair with a bolognese sauce is spaghetti. The long, thin strands of spaghetti are ideal for absorbing the rich, flavorful sauce, and the size of the strands makes them easy to twirl and scoop up sauce with each bite.

That being said, there are a variety of other kinds of pasta that work well with bolognese. Penne, for example, has a ridged surface that helps the sauce cling to the noodles, while smaller shapes like farfalle and orecchiette are great for capturing chunks of the sauce in the nooks and crannies of the noodles.

Rigatoni is also a great choice, as the large diameter helps the sauce to coat the noodle and the ridges add texture to the dish. Fettuccine is another great option, as the wider noodles give the sauce more surface area to cling to.

In the end, the best type of pasta to pair with a bolognese sauce really comes down to personal preference. Experiment with different shapes and sizes of pasta to find the one that works best for you.

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