Bolognese Sauce

There's something so satisfying about making the perfect bolognese sauce on the stovetop, despite the fact that it takes a while. The aroma of the sauce cooking is a 'welcome home' to all who walk through the door.

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Bolognese Sauce

  • Prep Time: 20 m
  • Cook Time: 2 h 30 m
  • Total Time: 2 h 50 m
  • Servings:


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 carrots finely chopped
  • 2 ribs of celery finely chopped
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 pound ground beef
  • ½ pound ground pork
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup white wine or red wine if you prefer
  • 28 ounce canned diced tomatoes
  • water as needed
  • grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese


  1. Pre-heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat.
  2. Add the olive oil and butter and sauté the onion, carrots and celery for 8 minutes, or until the vegetables soften. Stir in the fresh thyme and cook for another minute or so. Add the beef and pork to the Dutch oven and cook, seasoning with salt and freshly ground black pepper and breaking the chunks of meat up with a wooden spoon, until there is no pink left in the meat.
  3. Pour in the milk and stir, scraping the bottom of the Dutch oven to incorporate any bits of flavor. Increase the heat a little and simmer until the milk has almost entirely disappeared – about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the wine and continue to simmer until it too has almost disappeared – another 10 minutes.
  4. Add the tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Simmer (with a lid askew) for at least 2 hours, or preferably longer. If the sauce becomes too dry, stir in a little water (½ cup at a time), but make sure the water has evaporated or been absorbed before serving.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve over pasta with more Parmesan cheese at the table.
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Comments (9)Post a Reply

    1. I don’t have a written recipe for a vodka sauce on my website, but I do love it so I’ll put it on my list.

  1. I made it almost exactly per the recipe, did not use veal used ground poultry and added some fresh tomatoes. Delicious we had left overs for breakfast two days ina row! Making it again this weekend.

  2. This sounds delicious (just like your recipes always do). Milk is an interesting ingredient. Also, which wine would you suggest?

    1. I usually suggest any wine that you like in a glass, but if you don’t drink wine, go for an inexpensive cabernet sauvignon.

    1. Hi Cindy. If you love garlic, go for it. I’m not a big fan of garlic and left it out of this particular recipe. If you’re interested in a pressure cooker version of the sauce, check this recipe out: You could use the pressure cooker recipe in a slow cooker if you like, but make sure you brown the meat well beforehand and drain off all the fat before putting it into the slow cooker. Slow cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.

  3. 5 stars
    Excellent! I just made a double batch of this because I used a Costco sized ground turkey and mild Italian sausage. I used an Oregon Red wine called Druid’s Fluid. Wow, this is delicious! It does take time to cook down the milk first, then wine, then tomatoes but when you double the recipe it makes the time worthwhile. It is only taking a few extra minutes to chop more vegetables. Now I can make one or two lasagnas and freeze some sauce in a ziploc bag for a quick night pasta dish. Oh, the smell coming from the kitchen! My husband really liked this.

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