We’re going to show you how to make the mother of all meat sauces, Ragu alla Bolognese, other wise known as, Bolognese Sauce. Perfect for stuffing SHELLS, or making the classic comforting Lasagna alla Bolognese.
Some things in life are worth waiting for, and a good sauce is one of them. At least for me anyway. No surprise, this is one of those sauces. Ragu alla Bolognese. Pronounced bowl-own-ez-ay, is an amazingly, rich, beautiful and robust sauce.
WHAT IS BOLOGNESE SAUCE?
Bolognese sauce is a meat based sauce originating in Bologna Italy, hence the name. It’s NOT a tomato based sauce as some might think, it actually has very little tomato sauce. It gets it’s amazing deep burgundy color from the wine and the little tomato paste that goes in.
TIP: Learn how to FREEZE TOMATO PASTE
As with most Italian recipes the ingredients can and will vary, this is no exception. Some people use different combinations of meat, others put in livers to add a new level of flavor and even on special occasions a dab of cream is added. Some might substitute stock for the water. However, as with all of my recipes, this is the way I was taught to make my Bolognese sauce and it hits the spot every time I make it.
THE PERFECT WEEKEND SAUCE
I’m not going to lie, this sauce takes time. Not one of those sauces you can just decide to make at 7pm, well that is unless you’d like to eat a midnight. So for me, it’s the perfect weekend sauce. When I have time to let it simmer away on the stove and fill the house with aromas, aromas so intoxicating that they will make your head spin. The longer this sauce cooks the better it will be. You can’t short change it here, so don’t even think about it, okay?
BUT with that said, don’t be afraid of this sauce. After the initial flavor building is done you just let it sit and simmer. Check on it every so often to stir and add water. That’s not so hard is it? Especially not with results you’re going to get. You simply can’t get this from a jar. Just sayin.
1. Chop/mince your veggie as fine as possible, you don’t want big chunks of celery and carrots now do you? If you’re not as handy with the knife just or just don’t like to spend 10 minutes mincing give them a quick spin around your food processor, DON’T blitz them into a paste, a couple of pulses will do the job nicely.
2. Use a GOOD wine. Wine is one of the major components here so go with a good quality red wine. Plus (as long as you’re of legal drinking age) you can enjoy the rest of the bottle while you’re cooking the sauce or with the meal.
WAYS TO USE BOLOGNESE SAUCE
MORE DELICIOUS SAUCE RECIPES TO TRY
If you’re feeling inspired by this Bolognese Sauce recipe, you’ll love these other tasty sauce recipes:
- Bucatini with Creamy Sun Dried Tomato Sauce
- Spaghetti with Butter Roasted Tomato Sauce
- Spaghetti with Sweet Potato and Tomato Sauce
- Sausage Ragu with Pappardelle
Want even MORE SAUCE RECIPES? Check out my Modern Pasta Sauces COOKBOOK!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 carrots - peeled, minced
- 2 stalks celery - minced
- 1 clove garlic - minced
- 1 onion - minced
- 6 ounces tomato paste
- 1/2 bottle red wine
- 1 pound ground beef
- 1 pound ground veal
- kosher salt/pepper
- In a LARGE deep sided pan add olive oil and heat over medium heat.
- Add: carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Saute over low heat for 20-25 minutes or until completely soft, tender. Stir as necessary.
- Add meats, season with salt and pepper and cook until completely brown.
- Once browned, add tomato paste and allow to brown, approximately 5 minutes.
- Once brown add wine. Allow to reduce by half. Season with salt.
- Add enough water to cover the sauce by 1". Simmer on LOW. Stirring as necessary.
- When liquid levels are low add more water. Continue cooking and reducing for a MINIMUM of one hour. Sauce is best after 2-3 or even more hours.
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