A flavorful Bolognese sauce recipe that is made from scratch and tastes better than pasta sauce in a jar. This tomato-based sauce is simmered slowly with a combination of ground beef chuck and minced pork. The sauce is creamy and rich in flavors. It’s absolutely delicious!
Store-bought pasta sauce is convenient but they are usually loaded with fillers and preservatives. Today, I am going to share my favorite Ragu Bolognese sauce recipe. This Italian meat sauce is so easy to make, and it has tons of flavors. It’s also a great recipe to use those fresh tomatoes you have grown in your backyard.
This bolognese is a staple sauce that you can use on pasta, lasagna, manicotti, or even a casserole! Best of all, you can store the leftovers in the freezer for later use, especially on busy weeknights!
What is Bolognese:
Bolognese is a classic sauce in Italian cuisine. It is also known as ragù alla bolognese, or ragù, which has its origins in Bologna, Italy.
What This Bolognese Sauce Made Of:
The bolognese is made of a combination of ground beef chuck, ground pork, and pancetta simmered in a tomato-based sauce. The tomato-based sauce is consisting of San Marzano tomatoes, sofrito, garlic, milk, oregano, tomato paste, broth, red wine, and rosemary.
I use a combination of ground beef chuck and pork with 20% fat. If you are not a big fan of pork, feel free to use only ground beef. Ground veal is also the perfect meat choice for Bolognese.
Wine is commonly used to add flavor to sauces and for deglazing. In this recipe, I used dry red wine. However, white wine is more of a traditional ingredient for Bolognese. So, feel free to use either dry red or white wine according to your liking and availability. Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, and Merlot are good dry red wine choices that are easy to find.
CHECK OUT MORE PASTA RECIPES:
- INSTANT POT PENNE PASTA
- ONE-POT PENNE PASTA
- CANNED TUNA PASTA
- WHITE SAUCE PASTA
- GARLIC BUTTER SHRIMP SCAMPI
- FETTUCCINE ALFREDO WITH CHICKEN SAUSAGE AND KALE
- BRATWURST PASTA RECIPE (IN A BUTTERY BEER SAUCE)
I highly recommend using plum tomatoes to make bolognese. You can use fresh plum tomatoes or canned San Marzano. San Marzano is a type of plum tomato but it’s longer, thinner, and has a taste that is stronger, sweeter and less acidic. It also has fewer seeds than the typical plum tomatoes.
How to Cook Bolognese Sauce from Scratch:
This meat sauce is so easy, and will never fail. Even those without cooking skills can make this at home. The cooking process is a bit long, it takes about an hour up to an hour and half simmering time but it’s worth it!
So here are some important steps to follow to make this Ragù alla bolognese:
- First, you want to lightly cook the sofrito (onion, celery, and carrots) with pancetta for about 8 minutes.
- Second, add the garlic, and rosemary and stir for about 2 minutes.
- Next, brown the ground beef and minced pork. This usually takes about 8-10 minutes of cooking time.
- After that, add the tomato paste and red wine and let it simmer until the liquid is reduced in half.
- Lastly, add the tomatoes, milk, oregano, broth, and simmer at low heat for about an hour or an hour and a half or until you reach the desired thickness.
Best Pasta for Bolognese Sauce:
It’s important to pair the correct type of noodle with a particular type of sauce. In this case, use thicker kinds of pasta for thicker Bolognese sauce, such as tagliatelle, pappardelle, or rigatoni.
Storing the Leftover Bolognese Sauce:
Properly stored, cooked bolognese sauce can last up to 4 days in the fridge or up to 3 months in the freezer. Be sure to let the leftovers cool down completely before putting in an airtight container, or ziplock bag and storing it in the fridge.
Bolognese Sauce Recipe
- 1 pound ground chuck beef (20% fat) – patted dry
- 1 pound ground pork (patted dry)
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 4 oz diced pancetta
- 1½ cups grated yellow onion (from 2 medium-size onion)
- ¾ cup grated carrots (from 2 medium-size carrots)
- ½ cup grated celery (from 2 celery stalks)
- 1 tbsp minced garlic
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- 1 cup dry red wine
- 28 oz San Marzano peeled tomatoes
- 1 cup milk
- 2 tsp dried oregano
- 2 cups broth (beef or chicken)
- 2 sprigs rosemary
- grated parmesan cheese
- fresh parsley
- In a large deep skillet or sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook for 2 minutes. Stirring occasionally.
- Add the onion, carrots, and celery and saute for about 8 minutes. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper.
- Add garlic, and rosemary into the skillet. Cook for about 1 minute.
- Turn the heat to medium-high, push the soffrito to the side of the skillet, then add the ground chuck beef and minced pork to the skillet. Saute, stirring frequently and breaking up any large lumps. Continue cooking for about 8-10 minutes. The meat should be lightly browned but not crisp.
- Add the tomato paste into the skillet, stir for about 30 seconds.
- Lower the heat then pour in the red wine and let it simmer until the liquid is reduced in half or evaporated.
- Add the tomatoes, milk, oregano, and broth. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to low. Simmer, uncovered for about an hour or an hour and a half or until you reach the desired thickness and taste.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Serve with pasta.