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4.69 from 19 votes
Bolognese Sauce in a dutch oven with a wedge of parmesan, Chianti, and nests of uncooked fettuccine on the table
Bolognese Sauce
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
3 hrs 25 mins
Total Time
3 hrs 40 mins

Authentic Bolognese sauce is slowly simmered to rich and hearty perfection. Serve this over fettucine or tagliatelle, sprinkled with parmesan, and don't forget to pair it with your favorite wine!

Course: Main Dish, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bolognese, bolognese sauce
Servings: 8 Servings
Calories: 453 kcal
  • 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 celery ribs, finely chopped
  • 3 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 4 oz pancetta, minced
  • 2 lbs ground beef/pork/veal (ground beef can be substituted)
  • 6 oz tomato paste (1 can)
  • 1 1/2 cups dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes (1 large can)
  • pinch of nutmeg
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • grated or shaved parmesan cheese for serving
  1. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot. Add the finely chopped carrots, celery and onion. Season with kosher salt.

  2. Cook, stirring often until the vegetables begin to soften, about 4 mins. Stir in the garlic and cook 2-3 more mins.

  3. Remove the softened vegetables (they shouldn't have any color on them) to a seperate bowl and add the pancetta to the dutch oven. Cook over medium heat until the pancetta is golden brown, about 5 mins.

  4. Add the ground meat to the pancetta and cook until it is just browned but still soft (it may look more gray than brown). Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 2 mins. Season with kosher salt and pepper.

  5. Add the vegetables back to the pot and stir in the wine. Cook until most of the wine is absorbed.

  6. Add the milk and crushed tomatoes to the pot. Season with kosher salt and pepper and add a pinch of nutmeg.

  7. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to the lowest setting. Cook at a bare simmer, uncovered, stirring occasionally for about 3 hours.

  8. Serve over cooked pasta (I like fettucine, tagliatelle, or pappardelle) with freshly grated or shaved parmesan.

Recipe Notes

Wine Pairing: Cavaliere d'Oro Chianti.

  • Finely chop the vegetables, being sure to keep the size relatively uniform so they cook evenly.
  • Don't brown the vegetables, cook them over medium heat until they are soft and translucent.
  • I love the flavor the sauce gets from a mix of ground beef, pork, and veal, but this recipe can be made with all ground beef if you prefer.
  • Season generously with kosher salt throughout the cooking process. The salt is key to developing flavor.
  • Cook this sauce loooow and sloooow. I keep the heat as low as possible so the sauce is at a bare simmer. Be sure leave the cover off so it thickens as it cooks.
  • I recommend fettuccine, tagliatelle or pappardelle for serving and a big sprinkle of parmesan.
Nutrition Facts
Bolognese Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 453 Calories from Fat 252
% Daily Value*
Fat 28g43%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 93mg31%
Sodium 523mg23%
Potassium 759mg22%
Carbohydrates 19g6%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 12g13%
Protein 31g62%
Vitamin A 4501IU90%
Vitamin C 17mg21%
Calcium 114mg11%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.