"REAL" Italian Bolognese Sauce

Total Time
2hrs 40mins
Prep 40 mins
Cook 2 hrs

After traveling throughout Italy, savoring the fine tastes of Bolognese from the many different regions, I decided to formulate my own. Try it, you'll love it.

Ingredients Nutrition


  1. In a Dutch Oven or Medium Size Pot, heat butter and olive oil over medium heat until butter begins to froth.
  2. Add onion, celery, carrot, garlic, and bacon.
  3. Cook until onions are translucent (about 8 to 10 minutes).
  4. Remove bacon and remove fat.
  5. Chop lean portions of bacon in small pieces and return to pot.
  6. Add Ground beef and ground Pork, and cook until meat loses red, raw color.
  7. Raise heat and add wine and consomme.
  8. Cook sauce until wine and consomme are mostly evaporated.
  9. Turn heat down to simmer and add oregano, salt, pepper, sage, red pepper flakes, and nutmeg.
  10. Let cook for approximately 20 minutes.
  11. Add crushed tomatoes and bring heat to a boil.
  12. Once the mixture comes to a boil, return to simmer.
  13. Let sauce simmer (very slowly) partially covered for about 2 to 4 hours (the longer the better), stirring occasionally to prevent sticking.
  14. About 5 to 10 minutes before serving, add milk.
  15. Sauce can now be added to cooked Penne Pasta, Spaghetti or many other Pastas to your liking.
  16. Remaining sauce may be frozen for up to two months for future use.


Most Helpful

Thanks Chef for your endorsement that garlic belongs in Bolognese. I've been mortified to read in the British press recently that Antonio Carluccio dismisses all Bolognese recipes containing garlic and herbs as inauthentic and invented for the UK market! That said, this recipe is pretty close to the one I've evolved over many years. An ex-boyfriend's Italian mother from the North of Italy used chopped Italian sausage along with the ground beef, this added some chilli heat and also a hint of fennel to the sauce so I was intrigued see chilli flakes featuring here too. I too use nutmeg but for nostalgia! I sometimes substitute freshly ground fennel seeds. I also find cooking slowly in the oven gives the sauce a dark mahogany colour and a richness that cooking on the hob sometimes misses. It's the Maillard reaction I believe!

Wee Nell March 17, 2010

I have been making this recipe since I found it 5 years ago. I just realized I've never given it a review which is quite the crime as it is my families and friends favorite dish. THIS is the BEST bolognese you will ever try! Hands down! I make the recipe exactly as instructed but with one change. I use ground sausage instead of ground pork. This first happened on accident (sending husband to the market) I went with it, and it was delicious. It is fabulous both ways but with the sausage it adds that extra kick. Oh and instead of using American bacon I use Pancetta chopped up. It's not as fatty and gives it a lovely authentic Italian flavor. A lot of reviews recommended using more tomatoes.. I would suggest just trying it like this. Bolognese is actually a meat sauce not a red sauce. The tomato infused beef is what us Americans have made the dish into, which is also good, but not this dish....which is excellent. If you want tomato sauce have meat ball marinara. If you want REAL bolognese try this dish. Thank you Chef for sharing!

Chef Kerry-Ann May 01, 2015

This is an incredible recipe. The flavors are so complex and it's such a hearty and tasty sauce. This is my now go to Bolognese recipe. The only change I made was instead of adding the salt, I added the rind of some left over Parmigiano-Reggiano and let it simmer with the sauce, then removed before serving. (I got this idea from Rachel Ray, and it adds a wonderful flavor to any pasta sauce). Thank you for sharing such a wonderful recipe. My family and I thank you.

WannaBChef82 February 21, 2012

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