Authentic Bolognese Sauce (Sugo Alla Bolognese)

"A rich, meaty, and zesty "ragu". Bolognese Sauce is the backbone of Northern Italian cooking, and once you try it you'll never toss your spaghetti with store-bought pasta sauce again. However, there are as many recipe versions of this delicious slow-cooked sauce as there are cooks in the Italian city of Bologna. The secret ingredient to a true Bolognese Sauce is milk (or cream), which is added in such small amount, you don't even know it's there. TIP: Bolognese Sauce is best made the day before to allow the flavors to develop. Cool the sauce, uncovered, and then refrigerate in an airtight container. Can also be frozen."
photo by Mamabear3411 photo by Mamabear3411
photo by Mamabear3411
Ready In:
8 cups




  • Place the chopped onions, carrots, celery, and garlic clove in a food processor. Pulse the motor until the vegetables are finely chopped.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan set over medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables and chopped bacon (or pancetta, which is an Italian bacon). Stir in the salt, pepper, basil, oregano, and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes.
  • Add the ground veal (or beef) to the pot with the vegetables. Cook over medium-high heat, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat is no longer pink, about 6 minutes.
  • Stir in the wine, tomato paste, crushed tomatoes, and the milk (or cream). Add the pinch of ground nutmeg.
  • Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently, stirring occasionally, for 1 1/2 hours.
  • Serve over spaghetti, cooked al dente, and pass the grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Mangia!

Questions & Replies

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  1. Delicious! I only had time to simmer for just under an hour, and still fantastic. I added spinach at the end, let it wilt, and served over tortellini with a handful of shaved Italian cheese blend.
  2. Absolutely delicious. Served over creamy parmesan polenta!!
  3. Wow, this would have to be the best pasta sauce I have ever made. It was very rich and flavourful. You can really taste the flavours of the meat and vegetables, complemented by the spices and the wine. Make sure if you try this recipe, don't leave out the wine, you won't get the same flavour. I used a dry semillon chardonnay, which worked well. Thank you so much for this recipe, it is a keeper. I will never use jar sauce in my bolognese again!


<p>I recently celebrated my 19th anniversary living in SW Florida. I moved here from Massachusetts, just north of Boston. As much as I miss family back home, I truly love living here - the beaches, the tropical beauty, the people, and the weather (except the hurricanes!). Everyday is just another day in Paradise. I work at the new international airport here in Fort Myers. I have an opportunity to meet many different and interesting people from around the world. I've had an interest in cooking since I was a little boy, following my grandmother around the kitchen. Since I wasn't blessed with any artistic or musical talent, I think cooking was my way of being creative. My passion is my family and friends. My second passion is cooking for them. My favorite way to entertain is informally...brunches, cookouts, and small dinner parties. Just relaxing, enjoying each other's company, some good food and drink, and a little fun are the only rules of the house.</p>
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