Classic Bolognese Sauce

Classic Bolognese Sauce


There’s nothing like a classic Bolognese sauce, and it should be in every home cook’s repertoire. My version is smooth, rich, hearty and slow cooked to perfection. The very essence of Italian comfort food! This is what you hope for when you order spaghetti or lasagna in an Italian restaurant.
Difficulty: Intermediate Prep Time 90 min Cook Time 240 min Total Time 5 hrs 30 mins Servings: 8 Best Season: Winter



  1. Heat olive oil and butter in a large Dutch oven, over medium high heat, until the butter is melted. Add onion, carrots, and celery, and sauté until softened and beginning to caramelize, 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for another couple of minutes, until fragrant. Season with salt and pepper and, using a slotted spoon, remove the soffritto to a plate and reserve.

  2. Add more olive oil, if needed, and add the pancetta. Cook until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Remove pancetta and reserve. Working in 2-3 batches so not to over crowd the pot, add ground beef and pork. Season with salt and pepper and cook, breaking lumps with a wooden spoon but resisting the urge to stir too often, until browned, about 10 - 15 minutes. We want the meat to caramelize and the brown bits to stick to the bottom of the pot, as that's where all the flavor is!

  3. Return the reserved soffritto and pancetta to the pot. Add the white wine and deglaze the pan, scraping all the browned bits stuck to the bottom. Cook until the wine is mostly evaporated, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add crushed tomatoes, milk, nutmeg and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat to a simmer.

  4. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 4 hours or until the liquids have reduced and the sauce is thick. If by then the sauce is still too liquid-y, you can turn the heat up and boil - stirring frequently - until it reduces. Some of the fat will separate and float to the top, making it easier to skim it off with a spoon. Discard.

  5. Stir in heavy cream, parmesan cheese and parsley. Stir vigorously to emulsify. Taste for seasoning and adjust salt and pepper, if necessary.

  6. Serve, tossed with a wide pasta, like tagliatelle or pappardelle.

Did you cook this recipe?

Post a photo on Instagram and tag us at