This is the best bolognese sauce I’ve made to date!  Andy loved it.  He said “fire” and “the best” while he shoveled it into his mouth.  I agree with him.  I researched bolognese and found a plethora of recipes.  So how to choose?  I ended up picking one of Marcella Hazan’s recipes because several bloggers and articles said hers (and specifically this one of hers) was the best.  I was hesitant because I’ve only made bolognese with red wine – and in this calls for white.  And well, now my vote is in too.  Enjoy –

This serves 4-6 people depending on your pasta/meat ratio.  I doubled it and froze some for a later delicious date.


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup chopped celery
  • 2/3 cup chopped carrot 
  • 3/4 pound ground beef chuck (or 1 part pork to 2 pounds beef)  
  • Salt, fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • nutmeg 
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes, cut up with their juice
  • 1 1/4 to 1 pound pasta
  • freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano 


Place the oil, butter and onions in your pot on medium heat and cook until the onions are a translucent.  Stir often so as not to burn the onions.

Add the celery and carrot to the pot and continue to cook for about 3-4 minutes – until soft. 

Place the ground meat into the pot and add a healthy pinch of kosher salt and grind a bunch of black pepper.  

Cook stirring here and there until the meat has lost its raw red color.

Add the milk and reduce to a simmer – continue to cook and stir  until the milk has bubbled away completely.  

Next add a tiny grating of whole nutmeg (if you have – or measure out grated) – approximately 1/8 of a teaspoon.  A little goes a long way here. 

Add the wine and let it simmer until it evaporates.  

Add the tomatoes and juice and bring to a boil.  Once boiling reduce to the slightest simmer.   Marcalla says “when the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down so that the sauce cooks at the laziest of simmers, with just an intermittent bubble breaking through to the surface”

Simmer, uncovered for at least 3 hours.  This is important.  The flavors will meld and the sauce will deepen in flavor.  Stir occasionally.  If your sauce looks dry add a half cup of water here and there – and continue to cook and simmer.  At the end you should cook until all the water has evaporated.

Re season with salt and pepper.  And really – don’t be shy about the salt.  Use kosher salt and keep adding bit by bit to taste.  I find that most home cooks underseason – being afraid of salt.  And yes, if you are following a low salt diet – then I get it.  But at restaurants we use salt really liberally.  And it truly brings out the flavor of your dishes.

Cook pasta and drain – add a tablespoon of butter (if you choose) and then mix in the sauce – serve with cheese on the side.


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