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.


How to Make AUTHENTIC BOLOGNESE SAUCE Like a Nonna from Bologna

authentic bolognese

1 x red/brown onion chopped
3 x celery stalks chopped
3 x carrots chopped
500g/17.6oz pork mince
300g/10.5oz beef mince
200g/7.05oz veal mince
1L/4.2 cups Italian tomato passata
400g/14.1oz peeled tomatoes
150g/5.29oz tomato paste
Extra virgin olive oil
1 x glass red wine
1 x mug full cream milk
Salt and pepper
1-2L water (to be boiled using the kettle)

Sharp knife
Chopping board
Hand blender
2 x large pots
Wooden spoon
Large serving spoon


  1. 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.
  2. When the onion begins to look glossy and golden, add carrots, celery and then stir through, leaving to cook for 4-5 minutes.
  3. 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.
  4. Add the mince and break it down using a wooden spoon and/or fork before seasoning with only salt and pepper.
  5. Mix every so often to ensure the mince is all cooked through, leaving to brown.
  6. Once the water has evaporated, mix in the other half glass of red wine.
  7. In total, authentic Bolognese sauce should cook for up to 4-5hr and this will make the meat more tender.
  8. After allowing the wine to evaporate again, mix through the passata, paste and peeled tomatoes.

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

  1. Crush tomatoes using the wooden spoon as you stir through.
  2. 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!
  3. 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.

DAVID’S TIP: Leave the pot uncovered and on a low heat. The more it cooks the better it is!

  1. Allow the sauce to bubble only a small amount and not spurt everywhere. If it is bubbling too much, turn the heat down.
  2. 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.
  3. Once the sauce has been cooking for up to 5hr, remove it from the heat and leave to rest.
  4. Add your choice of pasta to the water (ours is Pappardelle) and cook according to the packet instructions.
  5. While the pasta is boiling, prepare a large fry pan for mixing!
  6. Next add a cup of full cream milk to your sauce and stir through then put it back on the stove for 5 minutes.
  7. Finally, place a frypan on the stove at a low heat, and add a generous spoonful (or two!) of Bolognese sauce, covering the base.
  8. Next, add the strained pasta into the pan along with a cup of pasta water.
  9. Mix this through until the pasta is completely lathered before adding another generous amount of authentic Bolognese sauce and mix again.

bolognese sauce recipe

authentic bolognese recipe

Authentic Bolognese sauce should be mixed with a thick pasta like pappardelle or tagliatelle so the sauce can be absorbed well. Once plated add freshly grated parmigianno regianno cheese and serve.

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

bolognese sauce

E ora si mangia, Vincenzo’s Plate…Enjoy!

These are 2 of my favorite pasta recipes I want you to try:

spaghetti vongole



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