My bolognese style sauce

Joined Nov 22, 2009
I'd like to start out by saying that this isn't a traditional bolognese, whatever that is. It's rather my interpretation of the dish. Here's what you will need if you want to make it (all amounts are rough estimates, I've only cooked it at home, so I've never bothered measuring):

1 kg (~2 lbs.) plum tomatoes
0.5 kg (~1 lb) ground beef
0.2 kg (~0.5 lbs.) Italian salami
5-10 2-3" beef bones, with marrow
0.2 kg (~0.5 lbs) slab bacon, smoked
veal stock
2-3 onions
red wine
olive oil
black pepper

Roast the bones in the oven. Sautée the chopped onions in olive oil in a large pot over medium heat, seasoning them with salt to draw out excess moisture and with sugar to enhance their natural sweetness. When the onions are translucent, add the garlic, chopped or sliced, to taste. Let it cook for a while, but make sure the garlic doesn't brown.

Add the diced tomatoes (I like plum tomatoes because of their sweetness, but feel free to use any kind of tomatoes you want), bones, salami and bacon. Let it all cook for a few minutes, then pour a glass or two of a nice red wine (I have used an Italian chianti called Leonardo) and a few ladles of veal stock. Season with dried oregano and basil.

Put a lid on the pot and turn the heat down to low. Let it simmer ever so gently for as long as you wish, but at least two hours (I usually cook it for four hours), adding a little more stock, wine and/or water if needed.

When the taste agrees with you, pull out the bones, salami and bacon. Be sure to scrape out all of the bone marrow in the pot if it hasn't fallen out on its own.

The tomato sauce is suppose to have a slight acidity from the wine (like a traditional bolognese should have), while having a robust body from the bones, bacon and salami.

Now fry the ground beef in a little olive oil with some salt, pepper and garlic (garlic towards the end, so it doesn't burn) and mix it with the tomato sauce.

Serve over pasta, with some grated parmigiano reggiano (or grana padano, which I find is just as good at half the prize) over the top.
Joined May 29, 2006
Sounds good, I use pepperonni not salami and don't use bones or stock, but I do finish off before service with a dab of heavy cream. If you go to Italy and towards the North or the French Border they use cream when served. I saute off beef, pepperonni & and veal drain fat add onion and garlic and all the rest, tomato ,spices, herbs etc.:chef:
Joined Jul 3, 2009
Bolognese is one of my favorite things to make. I've never put salami in mine, usually always stick to beef. Also, I add nutmeg. I do white wine instead of red too. I do add milk to my sauce so I think that's what makes me think go with white for a lighter, more creamy sauce. Just out of curiosity, why red and not white?
Joined Jan 27, 2010
Bolognese should not be a tuttifrutti of various meat. We use ground meat, no pork and add a pair of sausages. Because our students would not be able to find sausages or the correct ones, we indicate in that case to use part of the ground meat with porc ground meat.
White wine is not good for Bolognese, red thick wine is the one to use. High alcohol degree. We add nutmeg and a leaf or two of laurel.
First part we use a little olive oil and fry (soffriggere) the meat a little, then we drain away the olil and start over, then wine, after the tomato sauce which is not from canned tomato.
Joined Nov 6, 2004
Tuscan Chef, is this recipe representative of what you would expect to cook?

I've tried it a few times now and I can't believe complex delicious :)

take care all,
Joined Aug 13, 2006
Hi Tina and Manuela and anyone else interested,

I add this just as a curiosity (already posted it before more or less).

There was a thread some time ago on this site about bolognese and i did a little internet research on Italian sites. Of course anyone can publish anything on the web, so i take it all with a grain of salt, but i found this recipe which is apparently registered and protected (like an ancient monument) by the "Accademia Italiana della Cucina e l'associazione Confraternita del Tortellino" (For the non-Italian speakers, the unbelievable translation is the "Italian academy of cooking and the confraternity of the tortellino" - i thought that was hilarious, and worth repeating). It's registered by this august confraternity with the chamber of commerce in bologna.The beef is supposed to be from a part of the animal near the stomach which is particularly fatty called the cartella. I'll translate the recipe i found which claims to be the traditional protected d.o.c. one.

For 4 portions
300 grams of this beef mentioned above called "cartella", ground
150 grams of unsmoked and unsalted fatty bacon meat (pancetta dolce) minced
1 carrot
1 celery
1 onion (each about 50 gm)
5 spoonfuls of tomato paste mixed with a ladleful of broth
1/2 glass of white or red wine
200 grams of whole milk

melt the bacon in a pan. Add the finely chopped vegetables and let them slowly get soft. Add the ground meat and let it cook, mixing occasionally, until it gets slightly browned. Add the wine and the tomato paste mixed with broth and let it simmer for 2 hours, adding milk a little at a time, and seasoning with salt and black pepper.
If you like you can add at the end, about a half a cup of heavy cream.

Most people today make it with lean beef and pork, and use tomatoes not paste, and no milk or cream. It's those calories that they try to eliminate. I never knew much about Bolognese - my parents made meat sauce, but who knows where they picked up the recipe, since so many of our family friends were of Italian origin, but from all regions, and they exchanged recipes. There was definitely no milk in their sauce nor wine.

I tried this recipe, with pancetta and regular ground beef and it was a big hit. Still seems strange to me to make a tomato sauce with milk in it, as i think it would to anyone from Rome south, at least. But it was wonderful. Not to say that a million other variations wouldn't also be wonderful.
Joined Nov 6, 2004
Hi Siduri :)

That appears to be the same recipe that I had cooked before. I used flank steak both times that I've cooked it and adjusted the added milk to the amount it had reduced with time.

The aromas that fill the kitchen while your cooking this meal are almost as good as the flavors. If you follow the link in my post you can read a little more about the story behind the dish. I don't know if it's all true or not...but this recipe is a keeper!

Siduri, have you taken a look at any of the other recipes following the link above? So far they prove to be quite tasty...but I do wonder about their authenticity.

take care all>>>
Joined Aug 13, 2006
No, actually. I was wasting time with internet when i should have been doing something else. I did try the sauce though, and did love it.
take care
Joined Jun 11, 2010
I have to try your spaghetti bolognese recipe; I been trying a few different recipes I found in cookbooks and online the last few weeks. Currently, my favorite spaghetti bolognese sauce is from Cookinghow

I do like the recipes that use red wine instead of white wine also.
Joined Apr 3, 2010
From what I gather Bolognese originated more closer to the French Border. Most of the recipes I have are finished with Heavy sweet cream or a reduced cream. This makes sence to me as the French liked to finish everything off with cream, butter or a laisson.. I must have at least 10 different recipes for this and pink vodka sauce, which by the way one can't find in an older cookbook, next they will probably make a tomato dark rum or marinara gin sauce.?
Joined Aug 13, 2006
From what I gather Bolognese originated more closer to the French Border. Most of the recipes I have are finished with Heavy sweet cream or a reduced cream. This makes sence to me as the French liked to finish everything off with cream, butter or a laisson..
Keep in mind, ed, that caterina de medici married the french king and since she was going from tuscany to the rough, primitive, barbaric land of france, she brought her chef with her.  Thus creating french cuisine! 
Joined Feb 26, 2007
Nice history lesson :)

I tend towards a pork and veal mince, and half red/ half white wine to balance the other out.  Also, I don't use cream/milk, no idea why, it just seems to clash with the meat,  It seems like creamed beef then, not something savoury - that's just me I guess- I cannot imagine meat milk together,

 Always sime sugar just at the end to balannce the tomatoes out,  and love papika and dried oregano with this dish,  Umm, nutmeg, personally, is not to my liking.
Joined Apr 8, 2008
I watched to old ladies make it in a village in the province of Emilia Romagna, which its capital in Bologna.

It was just 50% minced pork and 50% minced beef, onion , garlic, and massive bunch of basil and oregano tomato paste(concentrate) and peeled tomatoes.

I modified, and and added champignon mushrooms , thinly sliced,

There is large theme and variation on this one
Joined Feb 7, 2010

when I make bolognese (which is the preferred sauce in our family), it is quite similar to yours but I add a couple of sticks of celery and a carrot and then add some hot sausage out of the case with the meat just cause its available.  I even started 3 large of basil plants so that I have enough fresh.  I then freeze it so that I have it all the time; as the family is two impatient to wait all day./img/vbsmilies/smilies/smile.gif    I will sometimes add mushrooms or black olives on the day I use some of the sauce if the family asks for them.
Joined Jul 1, 2009
I absolutely agree with 156 about the wine. Red wine is superior in this context.

Havent seen anybody mentioning it, so I'll do. Tweak it with orangepeel and cinnamon.

Try it some time. You'll be surprised.
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