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Authentic Bolognese from Scratch

Comfort food to its maximum gourmet elevation. This bolognese sauce is cooked with milk, wine and real tomatoes; slowly simmered to perfection.

Authentic Bolognese Sauce from Scratch

I just started a part time job involving lots of standing and handling delicious food I can’t eat on the job. This little piece of bolognese heaven waiting for me at home after long shifts is what’s kept my gourmand sanity. Nothing like coming home to a fuss-free, better-than-restaurant quality, gorgeous feast for the belly.

I make a big batch of this delectable sauce and sit it in the fridge, so when I get home all I need to do is

  1. boil water
  2. add pasta
  3. strain it (about 1-2 minutes under package instructions)*
  4. spoon bolognese onto same pot to heat it
  5. return pasta to pot and mix with sauce
  6. serve and DIE of pleasure

*I got this tip from my Italian neighbor back in San Francisco. For al dente pasta perfection, under-cook it by a minute or two, since once you mix it in with the warm sauce it will continue to cook.

Authentic Bolognese Sauce from Scratch

This pasta is what life is about.

It will be my signature dish until I’m 90 and everyone is eating space food and my grandchildren will all dance their joyous pasta dance when granny makes bolognese and my sons- and daughters-in-law will be completely bought over by this pasta heaven.

I swear I’m normally kind of humble. But this bolognese sauce is the best damn bolognese sauce out there. And it’s no secret either – it just takes real food ingredients and lots of slow-simmered goodness.

If I were selling this dish I’d be all “or your money back guaranteed.” Seriously, if this isn’t the BEST bolognese you’ve had, please send me a personal email and I’ll apologize to you tremendously (after I’ve asked you if you simmered it long enough, or if you dislike tomatoes or something).

Authentic Bolognese Sauce from Scratch

This sauce works well with any pasta type. I especially love using organic rigatoni and mixing it well so the ridges pick up the sauce and the deliciousness gets stuffed in each rigatoni piece.

Authentic Bolognese Sauce from Scratch

Can you see all that deliciousness stuffed into every bite?

Speaking of deliciousness… one last tip: exercise portion control. This is good food – made with pasture-raised beef and lots of veggies. But it is heavy. Please eat it slowly, the Italian way: put your fork down between bites and converse with the lovely company you’re sharing it with. Or if you’re a party of one, make an evening out of it with good music and candles if you like;)

If you serve yourself a big portion, you will eat it all. (trust me, I know this). I now only boil the amount of pasta I’ll need so I can’t have guilty seconds.

Authentic Bolognese from Scratch

Prep Time: 25 minutes

Cook Time: 6 hours

Total Time: 6 hours, 25 minutes

Serves 6 - 8 servings

Authentic Bolognese from Scratch

Comfort food to its maximum gourmet elevation. This bolognese sauce is cooked with milk, wine and real tomatoes; slowly simmered to perfection.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 pounds grass-fed ground beef
  • 2 cups dry white wine (I use Chardonnay)
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I use whole grass-fed milk)
  • 6 tomatoes
  • 24 oz. strained tomatoes (optional*) where to buy BPA-free organic strained tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • *

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, melt butter and olive oil over medium heat. Add onion, celery, and carrot and cook over medium heat until onions are translucent.
  2. Add ground beef and brown over high heat for about 5 minutes, until no longer pink. Season with salt, nutmeg, and cayenne.
  3. Add milk and bring to a simmer for about 5 min.
  4. Pour wine over the mixture and raise heat to medium high. Cook and stir until alcohol has evaporated about 5 - 7 min.
  5. Cut tomatoes in half and crush in a food processor or blender so that there is still some consistency left. Alternatively you can place them in a bowl and crush them with your fingers until they resemble a chunky sauce.
  6. Pour tomato sauce (and strained tomatoes if using) over the beef mixture along with 1 cup of water. Bring to a simmer.
  7. Reduce heat to lowest setting and simmer, stirring occasionally and adding water if needed, for at least 4 but ideally 5-6 hours.

Notes

*This is authentic Bolognese and as such doesn't have added aromatic herbs. Additionally, it is traditionally a meat sauce and isn't supposed to have a lot of tomatoes. I'm guilty of preferring it extra tomatoey so I add 24 oz. organic strained tomatoes - but the recipe will be delicious either way!

Serve it over targiatelli or rigatoni pasta, or good ol' spaghetti. Top it with freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano and (optional garnish) fresh parsley.

I normally double the recipe and husband and I eat bolognese for lunch and dinner for the next 2-3 days;)

http://enjoytribute.com/authentic-bolognese/

Authentic Bolognese Sauce from Scratch

ENJOY! And please let me know what you think. Have you had better bolognese? P:

Hi! Thanks for reading! I’m a certified nutritionist with a business degree. I write about the local + sustainable foods scenes in The Woodlands and share recipes made from scratch! Keep in touch and follow me!

18 comments

  1. Sounds pretty good. Close to mine, minus the celery, dark red wine instead. Always up for trying some tweaking though! Thanks for sharing!

    • Thank you, Tara! And *I* have been meaning to try it with red wine;)
      I don’t like celery but in this recipe you can’t even taste it and I feel like it makes the bolognese more balanced and easier to digest:)

  2. Looks and sounds delicious! I’ll be trying this for sure!

  3. I love any kind of pasta!So I’m gonna try your recipe defiantly!

  4. Beautiful presentation and I’ll bet it tastes as good as it looks! thanks!

  5. This bolognese looks amazing – beautiful photos! Grass-fed beef is where it’s at! <3

  6. Looks lovely! A great bolognese is a wonderful addition to any cook’s repertoire! Thanks for sharing!

  7. The recipe looks great – I wouldn’t have thought to use the milk! Thanks for sharing

  8. Hmmm, I think I’m going to start using this delicious looking recipe and start a tradition with my grandchildren! Oh Nana, please make the famous bolognese! I pinned the recipe and I WILL be making this!

  9. This looks great – This will be perfect to try it when the colder weather gets here! :)

  10. You weren’t kidding! Currently in it’s third hour of simmering, I keep sneaking tastes because this sauce is incredible. I made two small alterations to it — traded in 1 lb of the ground beef for ground lamb, and traded the 1 cup of water for chicken stock. Thanks for the recipe!!!

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