Bolognese sauce success

January was a great month! I got a job at my favourite bakery cafe, tried out a yoga class, went to the London Wine and Food show, and crossed two things off my kitchen bucket list. The first was poaching an egg and the second was making this homemade bolognese sauce.

Homemade bolognese sauce

Before I set out to make it, I actually didn’t really know what makes bolognese sauce different than just a  marinara sauce with some ground meat added in. So I did some research and learned that real bolognese sauce is actually a mostly meat-based sauce with very little tomato in it. And it also needs to have onions, celery, carrots, pancetta, milk and white wine. Once the ingredients have been added, then you simmer it for a few hours to let it develop its hearty flavour.

It takes some time to make, but it is so worth it. I can almost imagine that I’m in Italy while enjoying this pasta with a glass of my favourite red wine!

Homemade bolognese sauce

Bolognese sauce

Serves 6

1.5 tbsp olive oil
2 small onions, diced
2 carrots, finely diced
2 celery stalks, finely diced
75 g pancetta
2 cloves of garlic
250 g lean ground beef
250 g lean ground pork
3/4 cup dry white wine (I used chardonnay)
3/4 cup milk
1 28-oz can diced tomatoes
1/2 cup beef stock
Salt and pepper to taste

Homemade bolognese sauce

Heat up the olive oil in a large pot, then add the onions and lower the heat. Cook over low heat for about 7 minutes until they are soft and translucent. Then add the carrots, celery, and pancetta and continue to cook for another 10-15 minutes. Next add the garlic and let cook for about 30 seconds before adding the ground meat. Break it up well and cook it over medium heat until completely brown.

Homemade bolognese sauce

Then add in the white wine and cook until it is almost evaporated before adding in the milk, tomatoes, beef stock, salt, and pepper. Bring it to a boil, then lower heat and cook it over low with the lid half on for at least 1.5 hours, but preferably 2-3 hours. Serve with your choice of pasta.

Homemade bolognese sauce

What is your favourite pasta sauce?


Filed under recipe

23 Responses to Bolognese sauce success

  1. You are quite the gourmet! This looks delicious! I've only ever made faux bolognese with lentils…but I think you've convinced me to try the real deal!

  2. Ali

    This looks so hearty and delicious! My favorite pasta sauce I'd have to say is pesto. So good!

  3. I had no idea that's what a bolognese sauce really was…totally thought it was a tomato sauce with meat haha…that looks awesome so i will definitely be trying it out soon :)

  4. I'm so impressed! Whenever I make tomato sauce with ground meat, I immediately deem it Bolognese. I feel like I've been misleading :-pAnd…I think you need to make me this sometime. It looks so good!

  5. Er wow…to say I'm impressed would be an understatement! This looks amazing, Chelsea! Like you, I always assumed Bolognese sauce was basically marinara sauce with ground meat…thanks for expanding my culinary knowledge :)! I'm suddenly very in the mood for pasta! My all-time favourite sauce will be marinara…the chunkier the better and obviously topped with parmesan ;)!

  6. Er wow…to say I'm impressed would be an understatement! This looks amazing, Chelsea! Like you, I always assumed Bolognese sauce was basically marinara sauce with ground meat…thanks for expanding my culinary knowledge :)! I'm suddenly very in the mood for pasta! My all-time favourite sauce will be marinara…the chunkier the better and obviously topped with parmesan ;)!

  7. Amazing! I love bolognese! It's SO delicious, just all of the flavors together. I could totally eat a bowl of it minus the pasta and be perfectly content:)

  8. I actually had no idea that bolognese sauce was so specific – shows how much of a foodie I am! And I've always been a little strange with pasta. When I was younger, I couldn't stand anything with tomatoes in it so I would only eat pasta with meatballs and parmesan cheese; and while I definitely enjoy tomatoes and all tomato based sauces these days, I have to say that the simple combination of noodles, butter, and parm cheese is still one of my favorites :)

  9. mm looks amazing, I bet at your new job you are learning so much. Perfect fit for you! January sure was your month

  10. This looks awesome. I can't wait to try it out!

  11. That looks so good. I usually just make my own plain ole spaghetti or pizza sauce with crushed tomoatos and seasoning :) Ill have to think outside the box like this one!

  12. Hi Chelsea! Love the post, fun and informative. My favorite pasta sauce is a dairy-free Coconut Milk and Wasabi sauce. It is usually my first option when looking for something delicious to make. Here is the link to the recipe:

  13. This looks delicious! I think my favorite sauce is pesto.

  14. You are doing so well with the kitchen bucket list Chelsea! This looks great.. definitely have never tried making something like this. I am however, inspired :)

  15. I have never had bolognese sauce before! Actually this post reminds me of my communicating with food class this semester where we get assigned a target population and have to make a meal for them. You would love the class I have a feeling! I think it awesome you researched the way that this is made traditionally. I might actually like this. I really don't like marinara sauce (or basically any sauce- yes I have always been like that so I hope no one thinks otherwise) but I LOVE pesto sauce. It is just awesome

  16. YESSS thank you for educating everyone on what bolognese sauce actually is! I'm half Sicilian so I am well aware that 99.9% of people and restaurants in the US do it wrong lol. Seems like you pulled it off perfectly! :-D As for my favorite pasta sauce….I like vodka marinara sauce the best, followed by regular marinara + meatballs. I love pesto too but it completely wrecks my stomach and alfredo…not a fan AT ALL.

  17. I'm finally able to comment!! I think the problem was that I was using an iPad (my laptop went kaput on Monday :( ), but I'm borrowing my friend's tonight–so here I am! :)This Bolognese sauce looks absolutely delicious! It reminds me of a sauce my mom used to make once or twice/month when I was growing up, however I'm pretty sure her version wasn't authentic. ;) I can only imagine what great flavor the pancetta contributes!My pasta sauce preferences have definitely evolved over the years; when I was young, I turned my nose up at anything that wasn't creamy, cheesy, or buttery. Now I tend to gravitate towards pesto, however a flavorful tomato sauce can easily capture my heart as well. :)Happy Wednesday! <3

  18. Hands down, my favourite thing to have on pasta is pesto. I make a vegan version that is delish :)

  19. olive oil, sea salt, and a pinch of crushed red pepper of farmers market summer veggies and during the winter- a hearty marinara hits the spot everytime!

  20. I love bolognese! I tend to make mine with Quorn mince instead of meat though because I don't like beef. The recipe looks delicious though! I love pasta, think bolognese sauce is my favourite!

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  22. I actually remember reading this post a couple of weeks ago but never had the chance to comment…I NEVER knew that about bolognese sauce! I thought it was basically just a fancy schmancy name for regular ol' pasta sauce! This looks awesome! And so proud of you for crossing off another kitchen bucket list item!Favorite pasta sauce: VODKA!!! And one of these days I'll actually get around to making my own "healthified" version! ;)

  23. Pingback: A weekend away from the kitchen - Chelsea's Healthy Kitchen

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