"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

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

This recipe led to one of the better Bolognese sauces that I have ever had. I occasionally have to work long hours overnight in my home office so I was looking for a recipe that would take a few hours to make to help pass some of the time. I followed this recipe as closely as possible (I eyeballed most of the herbs, spices, and wet ingredients) and let it simmer for around 3 hours. It was absolutely delicious and I would say that it could rival any Italian grandmother's recipe. Next time I make this I will add just a touch more salt though. All in all, this was a fantastic recipe.

Alex H. June 21, 2015