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How to Make Bolognese Sauce

Chef John

"This Bolognese sauce is dedicated to the late, great Marcella Hazan. She was considered the Julia Child of Italian food, and at a time when most Americans thought 'Bolognese' was spaghetti sauce with chunks of hamburger, Marcella taught us just how magnificent this meat sauce could be. I like to toss it with some mezzi rigatoni and serve it with a little grated Parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of parsley."
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Ingredients

3 h 35 m servings 394 cals
Original recipe yields 6 servings

Nutrition

  • Calories:
  • 394 kcal
  • 20%
  • Fat:
  • 20.9 g
  • 32%
  • Carbs:
  • 14.2g
  • 5%
  • Protein:
  • 22.6 g
  • 45%
  • Cholesterol:
  • 84 mg
  • 28%
  • Sodium:
  • 909 mg
  • 36%

Based on a 2,000 calorie diet

See full nutrition

Nutritional Information

1 Serving
Servings Per Recipe:
Amount Per Serving
  • * Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  • ** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.
  • (-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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Directions

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  1. Melt butter with olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; cook onion, celery, and carrot with pinch of salt until onion turns translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir ground beef into vegetables and cook, stirring constantly until meat is crumbly and no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Season meat mixture with 1 1/2 teaspoon salt, black pepper, cayenne pepper, and nutmeg.
  2. Pour milk into ground beef mixture and bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often, until most of the milk has evaporated and bottom of pan is still slightly saucy, about 5 minutes.
  3. Raise heat to medium high and pour white wine into ground beef mixture; cook and stir until white wine has mostly evaporated, about 5 more minutes.
  4. Pour tomatoes with juice into a large mixing bowl and crush them with your fingers until they resemble a slightly chunky sauce. Pour tomatoes into sauce; fill can with 2 cups water and add to sauce. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until mixture cooks down into a thick sauce, at least 3 hours but preferably 4 to 6 hours. Skim fat from top of sauce if desired. If sauce is too thick or too hot on the bottom, add a little more water. Taste and adjust seasonings before serving.

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Reviews

Read all reviews 59
  1. 71 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

Awesome recipe! Would change just a few things - I would add fresh minced garlic to the sauteed veggies, and add my seasonings there. Cooking them in the oil I find generally brings out more o...

Most helpful critical review

I liked learning the technique of using the milk but something about the flavor of this was just...off. It tasted too much like wine and not like anything else. I will definitely try using my ow...

Most helpful
Most positive
Least positive
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Awesome recipe! Would change just a few things - I would add fresh minced garlic to the sauteed veggies, and add my seasonings there. Cooking them in the oil I find generally brings out more o...

I liked learning the technique of using the milk but something about the flavor of this was just...off. It tasted too much like wine and not like anything else. I will definitely try using my ow...

I made this recipe as written. It was a masterpiece. I have never made anything like this in my life that tasted this complex. Thank you for the recipe! I have enjoyed watching you on Youtube...

I made this last night and my Sicilian husband who doesn't like red sauce declared it the best red sauce he's ever eaten! Although I usually stick to the recipe I did make several changes on thi...

This is a true Bolognese sauce, not just tomato sauce with ground beef. I do not agree with other reviewers who suggest adding oregano and garlic; that will only make it taste more like what Am...

My kids love it! That's huge...

Since the first time I've made this i continually get requests to make it again.

I followed the recipe exactly, as I usually do with a new recipe. This was so amazingly perfect, I will probably never make any changes. Well, maybe I'll double it. The sauce only improves with ...

I like this a lot, however I made the following substitutions: I added two chopped cloves of garlic with the vegetables.I added a quarter teaspoon of fennel seed. I added one 8 ounce can of toma...