Ultimate Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce – the Great Italian Sauce!

AUTHENTIC BOLOGNESE SAUCE

You know that I’m always searching for best/perfect recipes, don’t you? Well, I’ve already told you in my Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce post what my favourite sauce for pasta was and I thought that my Mom’s Ragù was the best recipe ever, but recently I tried another one, just out of curiosity and to confirm my theory, and I was literally amazed!


ultimate best authentic bolognese sauce

This recipe is so perfect, rich and so delicious that I’m asking how couldn’t I ever imagined that? I tried many other recipes but no one satisfied me more than my mom’s recipe even if those were made by great grandmothers.

Now, look at the photo below… do I need to add more words to convince you???

authentic best tagliatelle bolognese sauce

Another reason why I was skeptical before trying this recipe is because it does not contain garlic. And I love garlic in Bolognese Sauce, it gives a wonderful taste. But this recipe is so tasty itself and is balanced in every part of it. So, garlic lovers, before adding some garlic, taste the sauce with pasta (not alone).

This Great Authentic Bolognese Sauce is heavier (more fats) than other recipes I shared with you, but worth everything, even your bikini, trust me. Next time you’ll make Tagliatelle you’ll want to try this one, really!

This is very simple to make too, just few easy steps and some time at home, but you don’t have to look constantly at the stove so you can do other things while it cooks.

best authentic bolognese sauce delicious

I use this recipe just for special occasions, such as when I have guests or on special Sundays, while for “daily” lunchtime I always use my Mom’s recipe because it’s “healthier” (if a Bolognese sauce can be called that ahah!) and has less fats so I can continue in following my diet. That’s why I don’t remove this recipe from the blog, because is still valuable.

best italian tagliatelle bolognese sauce

As I told you before in the other post, the secret for a special Bolognese Sauce, that we (italians) call Ragù (pron. Ruh-goo), is the long cooking time, 6 hours are best.

Yes, it can be ready after 2 hours but it will be just a sauce with some meat in it and very very bland.

People say that the habit of cooking meat for long hours is given by the fact that many years ago it was very tough, so long cooking times ensured a better tenderness to the meat, but I do not agree with that because when a Bolognese Sauce is cooked for at least 4 hours (or as I suggest 6), the meat along with olive oil, vegetables and tomato perfectly combine together to form a unique mouth-watering sauce, so there’s really a huge difference in the taste, not just in tenderness (the pictures below show the difference).

best bolognese sauce before

After 2 hours of cooking the sauce is watery, bland and the meat is whitish.

best bolognese sauce long hours

After 6 hours of cooking the sauce is dense and full of taste!

So this is the best Bolognese Sauce recipe I have ever ever ever eaten, period. If you know another recipe that is better than this one (I’m a bit skeptical but..), please let me know!!! It would be another huge discovery!

Enough said, now let’s move to the recipe!

italian grandma tagliatelle bolognese sauce

Ultimate Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce *

* (adapted from Beniamino Baleotti’s Ragù alla Bolognese recipe, he works as a cook at Agriturismo Le Ginestre in Pianoro (Bologna). If you ever plan to go near there make sure to visit him and have a traditional lunch there or make a pasta course, he speaks Japaneese too! I made some adjustments to his recipe such as swapped out lard for butter, because for me the first one gives a too piggy taste.)

Difficulty: easy
Preparation: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 4-6 hours
Yield: 6-7 servings

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 gr / 1lb / 18 oz ground quality beef (94% lean if possible)
  • 300 gr / 2/3 lb / 10 oz ground quality lean pork meat (chuck/shoulder or loin)
  • 200 gr / 1/2 lb / 7 oz ground pork belly (skinned, raw/no seasoned)
  • 450 gr / 16 oz / 4 1/2 cups soffritto vegetables OR 2 medium onions, 3 carrots and 2 celery stalks finely chopped
  • 150 ml  / 2/3 cup red wine (no bubbles)
  • 600 gr / 1 1/4 lbs / 20 oz plain tomato sauce
  • 2 sage leaf
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • kosher salt to taste

Instructions:

Heat oil and butter in a heavy, bottomed pot and fry ground pork belly until it’s brown and crispy (about 8-10 minutes).

Don’t skip this passage, it’s the key for a tasty sauce!!!

butter olive oil bolognese sauce

pancetta pork belly bolognese sauce

crispy pork belly bolognese sauce

crispy pancetta bolognese sauce closeup

Crispy pork belly

Add vegetables and fry them for about 10 minutes until they start to soften and color a bit (so vegetables are more savoury and sweet), scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally.

soffritto bolognese sauce

Mine were frozen

soffritto pork belly bolognese sauce

Add the remaining ground meat, breaking it up with a fork and cook until it’s browned all over (5-10 minutes) and all the water, that the meat releases, is evaporated.

soffritto pork belly meat bolognese sauce

seared meat bolognese sauce

Add red wine, give a stir and let the liquid reduce for 2-3 minutes or until you no longer smell alcohol.

red wine best bolognese sauce

Add tomato sauce, sage, bay leaf, nutmeg, salt and cover the meat with some water.

tomato authentic bolognese sauce

Partially cover with a lid and simmer Ragù for at least 4 hours (6 is better), stirring occasionally (about every 1 1/2 hours). During that time, if you see that the sauce is drying to much add some water (not at the end of the cooking time though!).

Here’s a photo of the sauce after just 2 hours of cooking (watery and bland).

best bolognese sauce before closeup

That’s how the sauce has to look like after 6 hours of cooking:

best bolognese sauce after closeup

As you have read, there’re just few steps to follow. It’s not complicated at all, so on the next rainy Sunday have a try and let me know if it’s your best italian Bolognese Sauce recipe too! And don’t forget that Ragú can be used with every kind of pasta, not just Tagliatelle!

italian ragu bolognese sauce perfect tagliatelle

ultimate great authentic italian pasta sauce mouth watering tagliatelle bolognese sauce

Ultimate Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce - the Great Italian Sauce!
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
The most delicious and authentic Bolognese sauce ever.
Author:
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 4-5 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 500 gr / 1lb / 18 oz ground quality beef (94% lean if possible)
  • 300 gr / ⅔ lb / 10 oz ground quality lean pork meat (chuck/shoulder or loin)
  • 200 gr / ½ lb / 7 oz ground pork belly (skinned, raw/no seasoned)
  • 450 gr / 16 oz / 4½ cups soffritto vegetables OR 2 medium onions, 3 carrots and 2 celery stalks finely chopped
  • 150 ml / ⅔ cup red wine (no bubbles)
  • 600 gr / 1¼ lbs / 20 oz plain tomato sauce
  • 2 sage leaf
  • 1 bay leaf
  • a pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
  • kosher salt to taste
Instructions
  1. Heat oil and butter in a heavy, bottomed pot and fry ground pork belly until it's brown and crispy (about 8-10 minutes).
  2. Add vegetables and fry them for about 10 minutes until they start to soften and color a bit (so vegetables are more savoury and sweet), scraping the bottom of the pan occasionally.
  3. Add the remaining ground meat, breaking it up with a fork and cook until it's browned all over (5-10 minutes) and all the water, that the meat releases, is evaporated.
  4. Add red wine, give a stir and let the liquid reduce for 2-3 minutes or until you no longer smell alcohol.
  5. Add tomato sauce, sage, bay leaf, nutmeg, salt and cover the meat with some water.
  6. Partially cover with a lid and simmer Ragù for at least 4 hours (6 is better), stirring occasionally (about every 1½ hours). During that time, if you see that the sauce is drying to much add some water (not at the end of the cooking time though!).

9 thoughts on “Ultimate Best Authentic Bolognese Sauce – the Great Italian Sauce!

  1. Hi Ilaria’s, found your blog while looking for Liver Venetian Style — I will try your recipe today.

    I liked how you wrote about yourself that you are always looking for perfect recipes – me too, I am trying to find the best recipe and only then I write it down on my recipe book. And I am also judging the restaurants with my husband :)

    I am looking forward to cook this perfect recipe of Bolognese Sauce, this is my husbands favourite and I love it as well. But I want to ask you couple of questions:

    1) Do you know if the sauce will still taste good after freezing? It is only two of us and the portion is pretty large, so I am trying to find a way to preserve the sauce — of course I could cook a smaller amount, but the process takes such a long time…and it could be so nice to be able to eat home cooked Bolognese without long preparation :)

    2) I went through many recipes of Bolognese and some of them call for white wine but some for red — Does red wine is more traditional for this recipe in Bologna or grandmother’s and restaurant recipes use white wine as well?

    • Hi Elena, I’m glad you step by my blog.
      About the questions… yes! You absolutely can freeze the sauce as it will taste the same just if you let it defrost at room temperature or in bain marie and not in the microwave.
      I always cook a large batch (since it taste better than a smaller amount), divide it in little cups and then in the freezer.
      Usually it’s used the red wine for the traditional Bolognese sauce because it tastes “right”, more hearthy.
      But you can use white wine instead for a lighter and less coloured version.
      However the sauce will come out delicious, but with the red one “perfect” 😉

      • Thank you for the quick answer! Yes, I know! you cant cook 1/4 of a portion it just won’t be the same!

        That’s amazing, thank you for advice. Next time I will also divide the souse into portions and we will have Bolognese whenever we want! :) :) :) And definitely red wine))

  2. I have had my fair share of Tagliatelle (or any pasta) al Ragú and this one is right up there with the best. I did put in an extra “Beef stock cube” to (in my opinion) make this sauce even more amazing. I’m really happy I made a second batch to put in the freezer.

    Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.

  3. My first time making bolognese. It is so incredible and delicious I feel so proud! Thank you from my heart for sharing such a soulful receipe!

Have you tried my recipe? Please leave a comment!