Authentic Bolognese Sauce

How to make Authentic Bolognese Sauce

Authentic Bolognese sauce is serious business! One of the most popular Italian condiments, this sauce is absolutely bursting with real tomato flavour thanks to the slow cooking process and minimal seasoning required. Create the most tender mince using this traditional recipe brought to you by David from Bologna who takes no shortcuts and admits patience is the most important ingredient!

Make way for these authentic flavours on your plate and stop adding unnecessary flavours. This is one recipe to have on repeat.

Watch How to Make Authentic Bolognese Sauce

How to Make Authentic Bolognese Sauce Like a Nonna from Bologna

authentic bolognese

David’s Top Tips To Make Authentic Bolognese Sauce

Add and Swirl!

Once you have added the passata, add some water to the bottle and then swirl around as to remove excess from the edges and add to your sauce. No waste!

Low and Longer

Leave the pot uncovered and on a low heat. The more it cooks the better it is!

Cooking time

Make sure to add your choice of pasta and cook according to the packet instructions.

How to Make Authentic Bolognese Sauce

Authentic Bolognese Sauce

Vincenzo's Plate
4.80 from 15 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 hours
Total Time 5 hours 10 minutes
Course Sauce
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6

Equipment

  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping-board
  • 2 Large pots
  • wooden spoon
  • Tongs Sieve
  • Large serving spoon
  • Kettle

Ingredients
  

  • 1 Red onion Brown. Chopped
  • 3 stalks Celery Chopped
  • 3 Carrots Chopped
  • 500 grams Pork 17.6oz. Mince
  • 300 grams Beef 10.5oz. Mince
  • 200 grams Veal 7.05oz. Mince
  • 1 L Italian tomato passata 4.2 cups
  • 400 grams Tomatoes 14.1oz. Peeled
  • 150 grams Tomato paste 5.29oz
  • Extra virgin olive oil EVOO
  • 1 glass Red wine
  • 1 mug Full cream milk
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1-2 L Water to be boiled using the kettle

Instructions
 

  • Authentic Bolognese sauce starts with a soffrito, so place a large pot on your stove (medium heat), add a generous amount of extra virgin olive oil and once warm, add onion.
  • When the onion begins to look glossy and golden, add carrots, celery and then stir through, leaving to cook for 4-5 minutes.
  • Next add ½ glass red wine (118ml) to the authentic Bolognese sauce and leave to simmer on low for a few minutes or until the wine evaporates.
  • Add the mince and break it down using a wooden spoon and/or fork before seasoning with only salt and pepper.
  • Mix every so often to ensure the mince is all cooked through, leaving to brown.
  • Once the water has evaporated, mix in the other half glass of red wine.
  • In total, authentic Bolognese sauce should cook for up to 4-5hr and this will make the meat more tender.
  • After allowing the wine to evaporate again, mix through the passata, paste and peeled tomatoes.
  • Crush tomatoes using the wooden spoon as you stir through.
  • After 1.5hr, add 1L/4.2cups boiled water to the pot and mix through. At this point, taste for salt – this is a preference of taste, add only if you want more as no other seasoning is necessary for an authentic Bolognese sauce!
  • Then after another hour or so, add more – the trick is when the sauce looks dry, add water, this will thicken the mixture and allow the mince to become more tender.
  • Allow the sauce to bubble only a small amount and not spurt everywhere. If it is bubbling too much, turn the heat down.
  • When the sauce is 1/2 hr away from being ready, boil 5L water in a second pot then add a tablespoon of rock salt, leaving it to dissolve.
  • Once the sauce has been cooking for up to 5hr, remove it from the heat and leave to rest.
  • Add your choice of pasta to the water (ours is Pappardelle) and cook according to the packet instructions.
  • While the pasta is boiling, prepare a large fry pan for mixing!
  • Next add a cup of full cream milk to your sauce and stir through then put it back on the stove for 5 minutes.
  • Finally, place a frypan on the stove at a low heat, and add a generous spoonful (or two!) of Bolognese sauce, covering the base.
  • Next, add the strained pasta into the pan along with a cup of pasta water.
  • Mix this through until the pasta is completely lathered before adding another generous amount of authentic Bolognese sauce and mix again.
  • E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate….Enjoy!

Video

Keyword Authentic, slow cooked, traditional
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

How to serve Authentic Bolognese Sauce


Authentic Bolognese sauce should be mixed with a thick pasta like pappardelle or tagliatelle, in this way the sauce can be absorbed well. Once plated, add freshly grated parmigianno regianno cheese before serving it.

We always make extra Bolognese sauce and store it portioned in containers in the freezer for a quick mid-week meal.

 

Eora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate… Enjoy!

 

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64 Responses to Authentic Bolognese Sauce

  1. Tim July 9, 2022 at 9:55 PM #

    Thanks for the recipe! I use a lot of herbs for my Bolognese. Oregano, Basil, some thyme, some marjoram.

    Is that so unusal in Italy?

    Thanks for your great channel!

    All the best,
    T

    • Vincenzo's Plate May 5, 2023 at 2:12 AM #

      Using a variety of herbs in a Bolognese sauce is not necessarily unusual in Italy, but it can depend on the specific recipe or region. Some traditional Bolognese recipes might only use a few key herbs such as parsley and bay leaves, while others might incorporate a wider range of herbs like the ones you mentioned.

  2. ted September 21, 2022 at 3:15 AM #

    What do you need the hand blender for?

    • Vincenzo's Plate May 3, 2023 at 5:57 PM #

      Great question! The hand blender is used to blend the sauce and make it smoother.

    • Empty Plate Empty Plate October 25, 2023 at 10:05 AM #

      4 stars
      you are thinking of spaghetti sauce not a Ragu which uses only 1 or 2 spices, marinara uses Basil. Your version is the American one like you can buy in a jar. Ragu is about the marriage of meat and tomato, not an orgy. I will add 1 bay leaf just yo make Vincenzo cry.

      • Vincenzo's Plate October 27, 2023 at 11:25 PM #

        The addition of a bay leaf to Bolognese sauce is a matter of personal preference. Some people believe that it adds a nice depth of flavor to the sauce, while others believe that it overpowers the other ingredients.

        I encourage you to make Bolognese sauce the way that you like it best. There is no right or wrong way to make it.

  3. Sonja September 24, 2022 at 5:37 AM #

    Which red wine is the best with Bolognese sauce?

    • Vincenzo's Plate May 3, 2023 at 5:47 PM #

      When it comes to pairing red wine with Bolognese sauce, there are a few options that work well. A classic choice is Chianti, a medium-bodied red wine from Tuscany, Italy. It has a good balance of acidity and tannins that complement the richness of the sauce.

      • Rob Rice November 8, 2023 at 8:40 AM #

        5 stars
        Love the recipe. I see that a nice Chianti pairs well with the bolognese. However, is this also the choice to put into the bolognese sauce when adding it to the soffritto and mince?

        • Vincenzo's Plate November 8, 2023 at 7:01 PM #

          Yes, you can use Chianti wine in both the soffritto and the Bolognese sauce. The red wine will add acidity and depth of flavor to the sauce. It will also help to deglaze the pan and release any stuck-on bits.

  4. Carolina November 11, 2022 at 1:02 AM #

    Hi Vincenzo! I love this recipe, and I did it while following the video, but here in the instructions you don’t have the step when you add the milk (just to let you know!)

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 29, 2023 at 1:53 AM #

      Hello there! Thank you for bringing that to my attention. I apologize for the confusion caused by the missing step. To clarify, you should add the milk gradually to the mixture while stirring continuously until it reaches the desired consistency.

  5. Gemma November 17, 2022 at 8:45 PM #

    4 stars
    I cannot get veal where I live. Do I buy more beef mince or more pork?
    I also cannot buy tins of peeled tomatoes, but I can buy fresh tomatoes. how many grams of fresh tomatoes should I buy?

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 27, 2023 at 2:00 AM #

      If you cannot get veal where you live, you can substitute it with either more beef mince or more pork mince, depending on your preference. As for the tomatoes, you can use fresh tomatoes instead of tinned tomatoes.

  6. Demetri December 30, 2022 at 2:14 PM #

    Hey, I made this exactly like the recipe and it came out great. It was my first time making a bolognese and I planned ahead for a rainy day. I started around 12:30pm and we had dinner around 6. I made the pappardelle to go with it and it was awesome.

  7. Mike Petronis February 27, 2023 at 2:32 PM #

    Vincenzo & David. I just made this for our family dinner. My mom (100% Italian – my grandparents were the first ones born in America) flew into town to watch the kids so my wife and I can go on a little vacation tomorrow. I spent all day making the sauce per the instructions. She LOVED it (I found sme nice paperdelle (sp?) too). So did my (super picky) kids. Everyone did! It was the best thing I ever made! So I just want to say: I’m a big fan (watch a lot of your videos) and THANK YOU for teaching me how to cook a beautiful, delicious dinner. I’ll keep trying more of your recipes! Ciao!

    • Karen September 18, 2023 at 7:24 AM #

      5 stars
      This is like I make Bolognese, but I do add a bit of nutmeg to the finished product.
      Do you ever do that?

      • Vincenzo's Plate September 29, 2023 at 8:06 PM #

        Nutmeg is not a traditional ingredient in bolognese sauce, but it is used in some other Italian sauces, such as bechamel sauce and pesto. I think it’s a great way to add a bit of complexity and depth of flavor to your bolognese sauce.

  8. Gary Frank March 24, 2023 at 12:13 PM #

    5 stars
    Wonderful, just wonderful

  9. Roger SRRddjosicjsjoger Sandbakkandbakk March 30, 2023 at 3:48 AM #

    Hi! Will this recipe also work with only beef mince?

  10. Roger Sandbakk March 31, 2023 at 7:20 PM #

    Hi!

    I am very anxious to try out this recipe as I have been chasing the “real” bolognese taste for years without finding it. Bur I have one question: Is it possible to exchange the red wine with something or will I lose the authentic taste then?

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 5, 2023 at 5:25 PM #

      Don’t be anxious, it will always be difficult on your first try but once you’re able to understand how it actually works, you wouldn’t have a hard time recreating it the second time or even the third time around. For the wine, there are alternatives for this ingredient, i.e. beef broth, sherry or brandy. But nothing beats like a good red wine.

  11. Henk April 18, 2023 at 10:54 PM #

    5 stars
    I have tried a lot of recipies for bolognese, this is simply the best

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 20, 2023 at 12:05 AM #

      Cooking is about experimentation and finding what works best for your taste buds. I’m glad to hear that you found a bolognese recipe you enjoy!

  12. Sarah April 24, 2023 at 10:17 PM #

    5 stars
    This recipe is fantastic and is now a regular staple in my house, everyone who’s tried has been super impressed!

    • Vincenzo's Plate April 26, 2023 at 1:49 AM #

      I’m so happy to hear that this recipe has become a regular staple in your house and has impressed everyone who’s tried it! It’s always satisfying to find a recipe that you and your loved ones enjoy!

  13. Maryam May 1, 2023 at 6:47 AM #

    I haven’t cooked this yet, but due to religious reasons I can’t use red wine nor pork and veal. How can I make it just as delicious?

    • Vincenzo's Plate May 3, 2023 at 5:31 PM #

      I understand your situation and respect your religious beliefs. In place of red wine, you could use white wine or chicken broth, which will still add some depth of flavor to the sauce. For the meat, you could use ground beef or a combination of ground beef and lamb or turkey to give the sauce a similar texture and flavor profile.

  14. Gabriel May 8, 2023 at 12:03 PM #

    5 stars
    I just made this recipe today, and it was FANTASTIC. I love the bolognese at my local fancy Italian restaurant, and now I can have it at home as well. Love your Youtube channel as well, keep up the great work!

    • Vincenzo's Plate May 8, 2023 at 8:15 PM #

      I’m thrilled to hear that you enjoyed it and that it turned out fantastic. It’s always great to be able to recreate your favorite restaurant dishes at home. I appreciate your support for my Youtube channel as well, and I will definitely keep creating and sharing more delicious recipes.

  15. Barbara May 14, 2023 at 3:52 AM #

    How much sauce does your recipe yield?

    • Vincenzo's Plate May 16, 2023 at 11:34 PM #

      the recipe typically yields about 4 to 6 servings. However, you can easily adjust the quantities of the ingredients to make more or less sauce according to your needs. Feel free to scale up or down the recipe as desired, and don’t hesitate to reach out if you have any further inquiries. Enjoy your bolognese sauce!

      • Rick November 9, 2023 at 12:43 PM #

        I’m sure that, with 1 KG of meat, it would serve a lot more than 4 – 6 people. I can’t imagine eating over a half pound of meat, in a sauce, over pasta.

        • Vincenzo's Plate November 10, 2023 at 6:19 PM #

          Adjusting the quantity of meat to suit your preferences is a fantastic idea. If a lighter meat-to-sauce ratio is more to your liking, feel free to reduce the amount to create a perfect balance for your taste.

  16. Artur Marques July 10, 2023 at 6:47 AM #

    Hi Vicenzo,

    I have done the recipe today and it was great. It has pretty much more tomato than others recipes I have tried (eg. Silver Spoon). Normally the recipes ask for either tomato paste or passata or canned tomatoes, but this one mix all three. The flavor is somewhat more delicate than the others, but very good anyway.

    • Vincenzo's Plate July 13, 2023 at 4:07 PM #

      I agree that the recipe does use more tomato than some other recipes. I think this is because I wanted to create a sauce that was both flavorful and hearty. The tomato paste gives the sauce a deep flavor, the passata adds a bit of sweetness, and the canned tomatoes add a touch of acidity.

  17. Soemame July 31, 2023 at 7:44 PM #

    5 stars
    I love how the recipe does not list any pasta in the ingredient list. This sauce is so good it will magically summon the pasta from the heavens when the time is right.

    • Vincenzo's Plate August 2, 2023 at 10:01 PM #

      Haha, I absolutely love your comment! You’ve captured the essence of a truly fantastic Bolognese sauce. It’s so rich and flavorful that it has the power to bring any pasta to life and make it a match made in culinary heaven.

  18. Simone August 13, 2023 at 11:57 PM #

    I made this today and it was the most delicious sauce ever. I can understand why some may be puzzled at the thought of not adding herbs or even garlic. But what I have come too understand and appreciate is the lesson that you dont have to make things harder than what they need to be. Sure it might look professional and pretty to add all the extra greens. But those extras will change the flavor, cost more, be extra work, and steer away from the history and you end up with stereotypical Olive Garden food. Don’t make things more complicated. This was perfect!

    • Vincenzo's Plate August 15, 2023 at 4:17 AM #

      That’s amazing! I’m happy you found the recipe to be perfect. I put a lot of work into it, and I’m always happy to hear that people are enjoying it. I hope you continue to enjoy bolognese sauce and all of my other recipes. I’m always adding new ones, so be sure to check back often!

  19. Dianne August 25, 2023 at 2:59 AM #

    Hi, I noticed that the recipe has the option to double or triple the serving size, but when I choose the 2X or 3X the amount of meat does not increase. Is this an error or the way that you suggest making it? I need to make it for 25 people. Any suggestions are greatly appreciated 🙂

    Thanks!

    • Vincenzo's Plate November 13, 2023 at 7:35 PM #

      Ciao amico! Grazie for reaching out. It seems like there might be a glitch in the serving size adjustment. For a large gathering like yours, I’d recommend manually increasing the amount of meat proportionally when you double or triple the recipe.

  20. Enis Shaqiri September 1, 2023 at 8:53 PM #

    lohe your videos. For me one of the best italian chefs, thank you vincenzo. it it possible to use something else than red wine?

    • Vincenzo's Plate October 6, 2023 at 6:21 PM #

      Yes, it is possible to use something else than red wine in bolognese sauce. You can use white wine, beef broth or cranberry juice. Let me know how it turns out.

  21. Jonathan Bloom October 7, 2023 at 8:55 PM #

    Vincenzo- I follow so many of your recipes and I love them all. On this one I appreciate it’s not traditional but what do you think about adding some pancetta to the bolognese to get some additional flavours into it. Is that a terrible idea or acceptable?

    • Vincenzo's Plate October 9, 2023 at 8:16 PM #

      Of course you can add pancetta to your bolognese sauce. It is not the traditional way to make bolognese, but it will add a delicious smokiness and richness to the dish.

  22. Kimberly October 26, 2023 at 8:37 AM #

    5 stars
    Vincenzo- I have been wanting to make an authentic Bolognese for a long time. Why in the world did I wait??? I made your recipe today. WOW! So wonderful and delicious! I looked through so many “authentic” recipes and come to find out they are not so “authentic.” So glad I found you on YouTube and look forward to making many more of your recipes. I will never make spaghetti sauce again for the rest of my life.

    • Vincenzo's Plate October 27, 2023 at 11:20 PM #

      I agree with you that there are a lot of “authentic” recipes out there that aren’t actually very authentic. That’s why I’m so glad you found my channel and my recipes. I try my best to share authentic Italian recipes that are also easy to make at home. I encourage you to try more of my recipes. I have a wide variety of dishes to choose from, including appetizers, pasta dishes, main courses, and desserts. I’m sure you’ll find something that you and your loved ones will enjoy.

  23. Lyn November 17, 2023 at 5:28 AM #

    Hi there. Question: ‘”1 mug Full cream milk”? What size should the “mug” be? 2 dl? 3 dl?
    Otherwise, thanks for the gorgeous recipe.

    • Vincenzo's Plate November 17, 2023 at 7:52 PM #

      When I refer to a ‘mug,’ it’s typically around 250 ml or 1 cup. Adjusting the milk quantity based on your taste preference is absolutely fine. Thanks for bringing it up, and happy cooking!

  24. Rich December 6, 2023 at 6:35 AM #

    5 stars
    Hi, I tried this today and have to say it is fantastic, thank you. I did chop the carrots and celery a lot smaller however.

    • Vincenzo's Plate December 8, 2023 at 4:22 PM #

      It’s wonderful that you made the recipe your own by adjusting the size of the carrots and celery to your liking. That’s the beauty of cooking—making it suit your taste and preferences.

  25. Robin January 22, 2024 at 5:18 AM #

    Hi Vicenzo,

    Thanks for sharing this great recipe. How many grams do the 3 carrots weigh approximately. I want to get this right…

    Kind regards,

    Robin

    • Vincenzo's Plate January 23, 2024 at 1:02 PM #

      Hi Robin! On average, three medium-sized carrots weigh around 200-250 grams. However, it can vary, so don’t stress too much about precision.

  26. Andrea February 16, 2024 at 1:22 AM #

    5 stars
    Hello
    Goo g to try this recipe this weekend also could I use this recipe for a lasagne .
    Thankyou

    • Vincenzo's Plate February 21, 2024 at 4:06 PM #

      Do let me know how it turns out. Happy cooking.

  27. Nick February 23, 2024 at 9:02 AM #

    5 stars
    Hello! I want to make this for my family, but for how much grams of pasta is this enough sauce. We normally eat 500g pasta, so should i make more or less sauce for 500g pasta. And how much more or less?

    • Vincenzo's Plate March 1, 2024 at 5:21 PM #

      For 500g of pasta, you may want to make a bit more sauce to ensure it’s well-coated. Doubling the sauce recipe should be sufficient

  28. Nick February 23, 2024 at 9:15 AM #

    4 stars
    Should i use seasoned or un-seasoned meat/mince?

    • Vincenzo's Plate March 1, 2024 at 5:22 PM #

      Use unseasoned meat.

  29. Terry March 24, 2024 at 3:29 AM #

    5 stars
    I have been to bologna last year and had plenty of great pastas, including a wonderful bolognese This is my 3rd time making this bolognese recipe you shared. I have made several over many years but this is the best authentic recipe. It is almost the same as the one I use to make from Australian Women’s Weekly which uses Minced Steak, basil, oregano, thyme and only cook up to 2 hrs.
    Yours is much better in flavour. I love the less ingredients and slow cooking ( with patience ) to develop the flavour. I also cook along with you in the video.

    Thank you

    • Vincenzo's Plate March 25, 2024 at 12:34 PM #

      Hey there, I really appreciate the warm compliments. I love hearing about your culinary adventures in Bologna. Happy cooking, and thanks for being part of the Vincenzo’s Plate fam!

  30. Peter March 26, 2024 at 7:31 AM #

    Hi, can I ask a quick question about the peeled tomatoes please. Do I need do remove the seeds or can I just put the canned tomatoes straight in? I’m assuming they are canned tomatoes being used here.

    • Vincenzo's Plate March 26, 2024 at 12:37 PM #

      Ciao Peter! Feel free to ask any questions you have! There’s no need to remove the seeds. You can go ahead and use the canned tomatoes straight from the can, seeds and all. Happy cooking!

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