Authentic Italian Bolognese

Ok so I must first say that while this recipe is “authentic” it’s obviously nowhere close to the authenticity of the real deal in Italy. But hey, beggars can’t be choosers ya know.

Bolognese is quite versatile so you can use this recipe to pair with spaghetti, rigatoni, or even homemade gnocchi is you’re really ready to get deep down in the kitchen. It also takes FOUR… 4… four… hours to be ready to serve so if you plan to make this also make sure you’re available to be at home.


  • 1lb 80/20 ground beef (if you’re like me and normally only use the leanest ground beef I know this will feel wrong, but trust me)
  • 1lb ground pork (not breakfast sausage)
  • 1/2 lb pancetta, diced in small cubes (can buy precut at some stores)
  • 28 oz tomato puree (I suggest either Cento or DeLallo)
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 1 c. white wine
  • 1 large onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced
  • 2 medium celery stalks, finely diced
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic diced
  • 8oz beef stock
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • salt & pepper to taste


  1. Heat the butter and the olive oil in a large (at least 12 in diameter) pan over medium high heat. It is crucial that you use a deep pan, otherwise you’ll find your bolognese sauce overflowing!
  2. Once the butter/olive oil is heated and begins to bubble, add in the beef, pork and pancetta to the pan and season with salt and pepper. Make sure to really break the meat up while it cooks so you end up with a smooth bolognese and not a chunky one 🙂
  3. Once the meats have browned, add in the onion, celery and carrot. Cook for 2-3 minutes then add the garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes more.
  4. Once the vegetables have begun to soften up a bit add in the wine. Stir and let it reduce slights for approximately 2-3 minutes.
  5. Add in the milk and beef stock and stir in to the meat mixture, then add the tomato puree. Mix well, bring the sauce to a simmer and the reduce to low and cover. Let cook for 4 hours (yes… all 4 of them) while stirring occasionally. I know you probably think it’s ready after simmer for 30 minutes, but TRUST… it ain’t. Just wait.
  6. Serve with preferred pasta and top with parmigiano reggiano cheese!

This sauce WILL freeze well in an airtight container so if you’ve got any leftovers you can store them for the future when you don’t have 4 hours to cook up a delicious sauce for dinner.


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