This is a version of the famous meat sauce of Emilia Romagna, of which Bologna is the capital. Giuliano Hazan's family is from Emilia Romagna, and he learned to make Bolognese sauce from his mother, Marcella, who learned it from her grandmother, Mary. Its classic pairing is with homemade tagliatelle or pappardelle but it's also very good with rigatoni, shells or any substantial pasta shape, preferably one with ridges, that has nooks and cavities to trap the sauce. Adapted from How to Cook Italian by Giuliano Hazan; Scribner, 2005.

Giuliano Hazan
Source: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2009
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Ingredients

Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • Put onions, carrots, celery, butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven and place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are lightly browned, 8 to 15 minutes.

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  • Add ground beef and break it up with a wooden spoon. Season with salt and continue stirring until the meat has lost its red color, about 4 minutes.

  • Add wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until it has almost completely evaporated, 18 to 25 minutes. Add milk and nutmeg and cook, stirring occasionally, until the milk has mostly evaporated, 12 to 18 minutes.

  • Coarsely chop tomatoes and add them and their juice to the pot. Once the tomatoes have started bubbling, reduce the heat to low so that the sauce is barely simmering. Cook uncovered for 4 hours, stirring occasionally. If all the liquid evaporates before the cooking time is up, add water 1/2 cup at a time as needed. After 4 hours, make sure all the liquid has evaporated before you remove the sauce from the heat. Blot or skim any fat from the surface before serving.

Tips

Make Ahead Tip: Refrigerate in an airtight container for up to 5 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thin with a little water when you reheat it, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

109 calories; protein 1.9g 4% DV; carbohydrates 7.4g 2% DV; exchange other carbs 0.5; dietary fiber 2g 8% DV; sugars 4.4g; fat 5.7g 9% DV; saturated fat 2g 10% DV; cholesterol 7.3mg 2% DV; vitamin a iu 2230.3IU 45% DV; vitamin c 13.9mg 23% DV; folate 15.7mcg 4% DV; calcium 75.4mg 8% DV; iron 0.7mg 4% DV; magnesium 19mg 7% DV; potassium 314.9mg 9% DV; sodium 256.8mg 10% DV; thiamin 0.6mg 59% DV.

Reviews (21)

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21 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 18
  • 4 star values: 1
  • 3 star values: 1
  • 2 star values: 1
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
07/23/2018
This bolognese is considered the gold standard. It should be cooked without changing a thing to truly appreciate it. I have tried dozens of bolognese recipies over the years but always come back to this one. Take my advice. Make it as written at least one before modifying if you must. Read More
Rating: 3 stars
09/25/2016
It was good....not great. The concern for me is nutrition value specifically calories fat and carbs. I think they are inaccurately low here given that lean ground beef is used. If I were to make this again I'd use a very lean ground turkey. However....I also think you can make a really decadent Bolognese and the nutrition value would be near the actual value of this recipe so.......I'll likely splurge on taste next time. Here is a closer look at the true nutrition value broken down by ingredient https://recipes.sparkpeople.com/recipe-calories.asp?recipe=102922 Read More
Rating: 5 stars
08/08/2016
Really enjoyed this although quite time consuming. I do find it hard to believe that a half cup serving is only a little over 100 calories since 8 oz of ground sirloin is much more than that. Either way enjoyed it for dinner and have a few containers put away in the freezer for another dinner or two! Read More
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Rating: 4 stars
01/06/2015
Not a low calorie sauce I thought it was Wonderful sauce for a cold winter day. Pros: wonderful and easy and good Cons: my fitness pal says it has 400 calories per serving Read More
Rating: 5 stars
05/25/2013
So flavorful!! This sauce was AMAZING. I think it's an easy sauce it does take a while but it's not like you are having to tend to it every 2 seconds and sweating over it. I found it easy and actually nice to have this sauce cooking and making my house smell delicious. I did add more salt and pepper than the recipe suggested. It makes a huge batch so I'm freezing half of it for later use which is always a plus in my book. Pros: Easy flavorful Read More
Rating: 5 stars
01/04/2013
A Labor of love but worth it. This sauce is a Labor of Love and takes several hours however it is well worth it. It tastes like a classic bolognese sauce instead of a simple meat sauce because the complex flavors are built over time. I make a large batch of this and freeze it in smaller portions. it freezes very well. Pros: Excellent flavor in a true bolognese sauce Cons: Takes time Read More
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Rating: 2 stars
12/24/2012
Not a bad dish overall Although i havent cooked this particular recipe ive made similar dishes along the lines of these instructions. What i would reccommend is adding 2 (if not too hot) finely sliced chillies with seeds included just before carrots and celery are cooked. Then mix together with a slow cooked tomato sauce made up of 500-600ml passata with1 whole lemon squeezed in along with 1 tablespoon of sugar(sounds alot but long slow cooking will combine sweetness of sugar and freshness of lemon juice) and finally a nice handful of finely chopped basil and finely chopped oregano. Combine with shell or papadelle pasta and bake in the oven on a high heat for 15-30 mins until the sauce and pasta have combined to create a real rustic italian flavoured meal:) Pros: Good flavours Cons: Not good enough Read More
Rating: 5 stars
11/25/2011
Wonderful sauce recipe! I use this recipe to with my ample supply of ground venison. It is delicious every time! Pros: Adaptable delicious! Cons: Long cooking time Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I have been making healthy bolognese sauces for years and this is by far the best one I've had in awhile. I scaled it down for 6 servings and reduced the oil and butter but it worked perfectly and tasted delicious. Thanks!! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Easy to make if you are hanging around. Nice clean flavor. Might put garlic in it next time. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
This just never hit home. I made it as the recipe indicated then added salt pepper some tomato paste and finally some cream trying to get some richness and savor going. It was okay; the flavor surely didn't justify all the time. The Iberian ragu was much better. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
delicious: authentic flavor. definitely worth the wait. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I had avoided making Bolognese sauce for years because of the time involved- but made this over the Thanksgiving Holiday. It was worth every second and then some. Very delicate flavor that deserves a good imported pasta and a light red wine. This is going in my "favorites" Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I made this Sunday and my family loved it; as a native from Louisiana we have no clue how to create good pasta dishes but this recipe was easy and the ingredients blended together well. I added an Italian Sausage to my ground turkey mixture in addition to garlic and parsely and it added some heat color and new flavors. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I found this dish very bland and was very disappointed as I put lots of time into it. It tasted ok but not what I had expected. I doubled this recipe and was going to give the sauce away as Christmas presents but I'm now only going to give to a few close friends and tell them that it needs a little doctoring. I ended up putting in garlic salt oregano red pepper flakes and an all purpose seasoning in it before I served it. My dinner guests all agreed it needed something more. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I have never made authentic bolognese sauce before and came to realize the benefit of the very long cooking time - the sauce was absolutely rich wonderful and melt-in-your-mouth goodness!!! I subsequently used this to try a new spinach lasagna and will keep making this sauce during long winter days to have on hand to use for short-prep pasta dishes. Thanks for sharing this recipe! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I thought this was very good and filling. Froze wonderful as well. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
I have made this a couple of times. When I ate it just after making it it was good. When I ate it after thawing a batch it was fantastic. It's one of those dishes that seems to improve if you make it ahead! Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/30/2011
Wow. This is so good! I happened to have fresh tomatoes on hand (thank you summer) and since I had 85% lean ground beef I reduced the butter to 3T. Came out delicious and naturally sweet-tasting. Can't believe I waited this long to make this recipe but I remember reading these last year and wanting to try them all. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
Wow this sauce is amazing. I never thought I'd like a sweeter tasting sauce but it's so rich I can't stop eating it! I used one red onion with the yellow and added minced garlic to the veggies. Used one pound turkey with the two pounds beef to cut some of the fat seasoned all meat with italian seasoning. I used italian stewed tomatoes instead of the plain ones and added 28oz more. It was meaty enough to go great over spaghetti squash. This recipe makes the low-carb diet seem like a cinch! Can't wait to eat it again. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
10/29/2011
This sauce is fantastic! I used one red onion with the yellow added a bunch of minced garlic in with the veggies and used italian spiced meat. I used 2lbs of beef and 1lb of turkey to cut out some of the fat. Still rich and it tasted great. I also used italian stewed tomatoes instead of the plain ones and added 28oz more of them. It was so meaty and went perfectly over spaghetti squash. This meal made the low-carb diet seem like a cinch. Read More