Traditional preparation of Bolognese Sauce starts with sweating the trinity of vegetables, carrots, onions and celery, in a large sauce pot. The addition of tomatoes, herbs, wine and milk (or cream) finishes off the sauce before ground meat is added, making it a traditional ragu. While ground beef is nearly always a main ingredient, ground pork, pancetta (or bacon) and veal are also commonly used. I like to add a few crumbled Italian sausages or even a chorizo link for smoky flavor and a little spice. Garlic is also absent from the original versions of Bolognese Sauce, but I love garlic and can’t fathom leaving it out.
This version of Bolognese Sauce is simplified, leaving out long hours of simmering that does build flavor, but takes a lot of time. I also omitted the milk and made wine optional. Bolognese Sauce in the US is commonly seen on menus as “Spaghetti Bolognese” but rarely (never) served in Italy. In fact, it is forbidden to serve or even mention Bolognese Sauce being served over spaghetti within the limits of Bologna, the namesake city.
Don’t forget to PIN Bolognese Sauce!
- 1 pound ground beef lean
- 2 links hot Italian sausage removed from casing and crumbled
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 1 cup white onion chopped
- 1/2 cup carrots chopped
- 1/2 cup celery chopped
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- 28 ounces crushed tomato
- 6 leaves basil
- 1/2 cup red wine optional
- 1 cup water
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper freshly ground
- Pasta of Choice cooked
Heat a large Dutch oven or sauce pot over medium heat. Add ground beef and crumbled sausage. Continue to break apart and cook for approximately 10 minutes. Drain and set meat aside.
In the same Dutch oven or sauce pot,heat extra virgin olive oil. Add chopped onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Sweat for 4-5 minutes, or until soft. Add remaining ingredients, including cooked ground meat. Stir well.
Simmer on low for 30 minutes and serve over pasta of choice.