Bolognese sauce, authentic – the right way

It’s a classic, worldwide known pasta sauce, easy to prepare and widely available. It is quite simple to prepare and with a few tips that make all the difference, you will never again opt for a canned bolognese sauce, so let’s get into the basics of this classic.

To serve 4 you will need:

  • 9oz (250g) minced lean beef
  • 5oz (150g) minced pork meat
  • 2oz (60g) minced pancetta
  • 5oz (150g) minced carrots, onions, and celery (equal parts)
  • 7z (200g) tomato puree
  • olive oil
  • 1 cup (240ml) white vine
  • 1/2 cup (120ml) whole fat milk or creme fresh
  • salt, pepper, 1/2 tsp thyme, 1 bay leaf
  • parmesan cheese or grana padano for topping

Get a solid, quite wide pot on the stove, coat with oil and set your burner to high. As soon as the oil is hot put the pancetta in, or bacon as you wish, let it sizzle and brown. You want all the fat in the pancetta to melt and the meaty bits brown. This is very important, the melted fat from the pancetta gives the sauce the kick.


Add the minced onions, carrots, and celery. Saute and stir until lightly sweated. Remember the burner is still on high. When the veggies are browned pop in the minced meat. Stir constantly and break the big chunks of meat into small pieces. Continue stirring until a fair amount of water has evaporated and the minced beef and pork is brown and sticking to the bottom of the pan.

At this point turn the heat to low and add the vine. Let evaporate. Continue by adding the salt, pepper, bay leaf, and tomato puree. If needed a cup of stock or plain water to the pot.


Set the heat to low, put the cover on and let simmer for a good 2 hours.

Take your time, the bolognese sauce has to simmer for quite some time, you cannot speed up this process without sacrificing the taste.  every 20 minutes or so give it a stir and add more water if necessary. If the heat is low enough no extra liquid will be needed. You want the water to evaporate and get quite a thick sauce with a smooth consistency.


At this point, our sauce is almost done. Turn the burner off. The very last step is crucial. Add 1/2 cup of whole milk. This will make the bolognese creamy and smooth and give the flavor a real twist. Remember to turn the heat off, do not cook the sauce once you add the milk/cream.

And you’re done! You have successfully cooked the authentic Italian bolognese sauce. Top on some al dente cooked fettucini, instead of the same old spaghetti, top with fresh parsley and grana padano and enjoy with a glass of red wine.