Estimated reading time: 7 minutes
Italian Bolognese sauce is one of the easiest homemade meat sauce recipes you can make.
For those of you who enjoy gardening, you probably plant lots of tomatoes in the summer.
You can use your tomato bounty to make our simple meat Bolognese sauce in about 2 hours.
You need that time to let the sauce reduce, thicken and let the rich flavours come together.
Let’s go learn about the history of Bolognese Sauce and I’ll show you how we make it at the CBB house.
What Is Bolognese Sauce?
What is Bolognese Sauce made of?
An Italian Bolognese sauce today is made with both ground pork and beef.
Other ways Bolognese sauce can be made is with veal, duck, goose, or chicken.
There are different variations of this sauce depending on the region of Italy it is prepared in.
Adding ground beef, celery, and minced onions it thickens the Bolognese sauce.
The secret ingredient is dry red wine which adds the authentic flavour you’ll find in Italy.
Most people will use a combination of red wine, stock, or other liquids such as milk or water.
Finally, time makes the best-tasting Bolognese sauce so don’t be in a rush for this recipe.
What Pasta Can I Use For Bolognese Sauce?
I like a nice Rigatoni Bolognese, Penne Bolognese and Italian Spaghetti Bolognese.
To be fair this delicious Italian sauce can be added to any pasta and it would be perfect.
The best pasta is fresh Italian pasta which you can make yourself or buy at specialty pasta stores.
Difference Between Bolognese Sauce and Spaghetti Sauce
There is a difference between Bolognese sauce and spaghetti sauce and it’s the addition of meat.
When we make spaghetti sauce at our house we either add minced beef and pork or leave it out.
If you’re not a fan of minced beef or pork and would prefer a vegetarian spaghetti sauce, just leave it out.
Simple right? You bet and you get to avoid those over-priced store-bought jars of spaghetti sauce.
Related: Nonna’s Meatballs and Pasta Sauce
History Of Bolognese Sauce
Bolognese sauce originated in a place called Bologna, Italy however the history differs in various parts of Italy.
Bolognese sauce had simple but rich beginnings but over time it has become an inexpensive meal.
A popular meat sauce which includes fresh ingredients and has evolved from a stew into a heavy meat sauce.
In 1982, the Italian Academy of Cuisine (Accademia Italiana della Cucina), an organization dedicated to preserving the culinary heritage of Italy, recorded and deposited a recipe for “classic Bolognese ragù” with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce (La Camera di Commercio di Bologna)Wikipedia- Bolognese Sauce
The first documented recipe for a meat sauce, in which the cooked meat was an integral part of the sauce served with pasta, dates from the end of the 18th century.Wikipedia – Bolognese
After the early 1830s, recipes for ragù appear frequently in cookbooks from the Emilia-Romagna region. By the late 19th century, the use of heavy meat sauces on pasta was common on feast days and Sundays only with the wealthier classes of the newly unified Italy, given the expense of meat.Wikipedia – Ragu
Jars Of Bolognese Sauce vs. Homemade Bolognese
If you grew up eating jarred sauce that your parents bought at the grocery store, stop buying it.
Skip paying a premium price for a sauce that tastes mediocre to horrible compared to homemade.
Think about the first time you tried authentic aged freshly grated parmigiana Reggiano cheese.
You cannot compare it to the big green can of fake grated cheese at the grocery store.
Yes, it will cost more however a little goes a long way in terms of flavour.
At Costco Canada, you can purchase a big chunk of parmigiana Reggiano for between $18-$25.
Meal Prep Bolognese Sauce
Honestly, making a pot of Bolognese sauce on a Sunday so we have it for the month is easiest for us.
By eating small quantities of pasta sauce it allows us to freeze it for our next pasta night.
Although, fit for a crowd of 6-8 people the sauce is excellent for a family gathering.
Another way we use Bolognese sauce is when we make Italian lasagna to put between the layers.
We keep life simple at our house and freeze half of a pot when cooled into two containers.
When making pasta part of our meal plan I prefer either Rigatoni pasta or Italian spaghetti noodles.
Keto Oat Fibre Pasta
However, Mrs. CBB who follows a keto lifestyle raves about this Oat Fiber pasta that she buys on Amazon Canada.
LIVIVA Organic Shirataki Spaghetti with Oat Fibre, Low-Calorie Pasta Made from Konjac Root, Non-GMO, Gluten-Free, and Keto Certified.
Surprisingly, it costs less to buy it on Amazon than it does to buy it from the grocery store.
The best chance of finding the pasta is in the health food grocery stores or by asking an associate.
How To Make Italian Bolognese Sauce
- 1lb Ground Beef and 1lb Ground Pork
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons sea salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh black pepper
- 4 cups of whole tomatoes Run through a mill or crushed (San Marzano is the best and you can find them at Costco Canada.}
- 1/2 cup dry red wine (any will do)
- 2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
- 1/2 cup of Chicken Stock Broth
- 3/4 cup chopped celery
- 1 carrot chopped fine 1/2 cup
- 1/2 clove of minced garlic
- 1 medium diced white onion 3/4 cup
Bolognese Sauce Step-by-Step
- In a large pot add the olive oil, garlic, onion, celery, and carrots on medium heat and Sautee for a couple of minutes until tender.
- Add the ground beef and pork and break it up with a wooden spoon
- Brown the meat for 10 minutes
- Pour the red wine into the meat and stir until it evaporates (3-4 minutes)
- Add the tomato paste and incorporate it with the meat
- Pour the chicken broth and stir
- Add 4 cups of crushed tomatoes and combine
- Put in 2 bay leaves (remove when the sauce is done)
- Add salt and pepper as desired (1-2 teaspoons of each)
- Extra broth for reduction or use water (See notes below)
As the sauce reduces add a liquid to cover the meat sauce such as broth or water.
Check every 30 minutes and give the sauce a stir to mix it up.
After 2 hours of reducing on low-medium heat to 4/5 on our dial, we boil the pasta.
Leave the sauce for 3 hours to bring out more of the flavours but 2 hours is fine too.
Add Bolognese sauce to the pasta or serve it over the pasta with fresh basil leaves or chopped basil.
Don’t forget the freshly grated Italian Parmigiana Reggiano cheese.
That’s it my friends, a delicious Bolognese Sauce to add to your recipe book.
Let me know what you think in the comments below if you make this recipe.
Check out all of my recipes including keto in the Free Recipe Depot Index.