Best Ever Bolognese Sauce

This is a Marcella Hazan recipe which means very few ingredients but a lot of time required. And as most of the Marcella Hazan recipes I have made so far, its not obvious how much time is needed until you realise dinner is going to be rather late. You need to read the recipe and also THINK about what she’s saying. For example, when there is one sentence saying “Add a cup of milk and simmer till it has bubbled away”. Actually, simmering off a cup of milk isn’t going to take 2 minutes.  So with a few more instructions, and some realistic timeframes, this has to be the best bolognese sauce .. EVER.

Time to cook: 5 Hours (2 hours prep and active cooking, 3 hours to simmer)

Quantity: May as well make double and freeze some. You don’t get 5 hours to cook that often.


  • 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil
  • 85g butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 large onion)
  • 1 1/3 cup of celery (7 sticks)
  • 1 1/3 cup of carrot (2 small carrots)
  • 700g chuck steak ground
  • Salt
  • Black pepper – fresh ground
  • 2 cups milk
  • ground nutmeg (fresh)
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 2 cans imported italian tomatoes, cut up with their juice
  • Fresh grated parmesan cheese


Put the oil and butter in a pan and add the chopped onions. When translucent, add the celery and carrot for 2 mins. Then add the ground beef, large pinch of salt and a few grindings of black pepper. Once the beef has lost its red colour, add the milk.

Simmer slowly till it has bubbled away completely. This could take 45mins to an hour! Be patient – maybe prepare another dish in the meantime. Stir it frequently though.

Once the mixture is dry, add the nutmeg and stir. Now add the wine. Another 45 min job. Wait till it has bubbled away.

Now add the tomatoes and turn it down to the laziest of simmers. Just enough for a single bubble to appear every now and then. Cook like this for at least 3 hours. If it drys out in the process add some water (but I have never found this to be a problem).

And voila – done! I have also used this bolognese sauce in lasagne and has been equally as awesome.

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Posted in Cooking

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