Bolognese Sauce

21 Mar

After spending a few weeks in Italy last year, I’ve been on the constant hunt for good pasta sauce recipes. Nothing comes close to the food I ate while I was there, but occasionally I’ll find a recipe that’s close. I’m still working on perfecting my homemade pasta (another post for another day, once I’ve got that down), but I’ve found an excellent staple for Bolognese sauce to add to my repertoire. I found this recipe through Hillary and it’s wonderful! The flavour is rich and meaty and works well over pasta.

  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 onion, minced
  • 2-3 medium carrots, minced
  • 2-3 stalks celery, minced
  • 8 oz mushrooms, diced
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 pound ground Italian sausage
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 (28oz) cans diced tomatoes
  • Parmesan for serving

Heat butter in a large, heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and mushrooms and sauté until softened but not browned – about 5 minutes. Add ground meats and salt. Break meat into small pieces with a spoon. Cook, continuing to crumble meat, just until it loses its raw colour but has not browned – 3 to 5 minutes.

Add milk and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, until milk mostly evaporate and only clear fat remains – about 15 to 20 minutes.

Add wine and bring to a simmer until the wine evaporates – 15 to 20 minutes longer.

Add tomatoes and their juice and bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low so that the sauce continues to barely simmer until liquid has reduced – about 3 hours. Stir occasionally. You want a thick, rich sauce that’s not watery.

Skim noticeable fat off of top and adjust seasonings with extra salt to taste (if needed). Serve with Parmesan on top.




I was a bit surprised that the recipe called for white wine, as I assumed that a bolognese was made with red. Apparently either can be used. Next time I make this I’ll try it with a red to see what happens. For this version, I used one of my favourite Chardonnays – Toasted Head, and I think it worked well.

I’ve been sick for over a week, but even with my clogged sinuses, the smells emanating from my kitchen all afternoon were glorious. This is definitely a recipe to do low and slow, when you have plenty of time to spare. The cooking times took a bit longer on my stove, so it was definitely an all-afternoon process, but absolutely worth it in the end.


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