Bolognese is so much more than just a meat sauce. It’s the ultimate way to transform a package of ground beef into something show-stopping. When the temperature starts to drop, what sounds better than pasta smothered in rich, hearty, umami-bomb bolognese? NOTHING.
Developing these delicious flavors, however, takes a little bit of time. Two hours. That might sound laborious, but it’s really hands off. Time plus low heat allows each ingredient to “do its job,” lending its distinct flavor, melding, and transforming your bolognese into something magical. So yeah, we’d say it’s worth it. Here’s how to nail it.
Build your base.
Starting out with a mirepoix, i.e. onion, carrot, and celery, is the foundation for a great bolognese. Finely chop your vegetables, “sweat them out” in olive oil (you don’t want too much color, sauté them until they’re translucent), and they’ll basically disappear into the sauce, leaving their sweet and savory flavors behind.
Fragrant garlic, rich and tangy tomato paste, a splash of dry white wine (you can use red, too!), and aromatic bay leaf are what amp up the sauce even more, taking your bolognese to the next level. So don’t skip any of these building blocks.
Give it time.
Cooking your sauce for a total of almost two hours might seem tedious, but trust us, it’s worth it. Simmering allows the wine to cook off and concentrate and for all the flavors to really get to know each other.
Finish with milk.
Adding milk may sound strange here, but it’s actually ESSENTIAL to rounding out a true bolognese. Simmering a whole cup of milk for 45 minutes turns the sauce silky and the meat tender.
Serve your bolognese over pasta and be sure to garnish with lots of freshly grated Parm. In fact this is one of our favorite meals to cook and store for later in the week, so why not double the recipe and freeze half? Think of it as a gift to yourself on a night when you’re short on time and scary hangry.
Made this recipe? Comment below and let us know what you think!
- 1 tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 onion, chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 stalk celery, finely chopped
- 1 lb. ground beef
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 c. dry white wine
- 1 (15-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
- 3 tbsp. tomato paste
- 2 c. low sodium beef (or chicken) broth
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 c. whole milk
- 3/4 tsp. kosher salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
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In a large dutch oven over medium-high heat, heat oil. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and cook until soft, about 7 minutes. Stir in beef and garlic, breaking up meat with back of a spoon. Cook until no longer pink and lightly seared, about 8 minutes.
Add wine, and bring mixture to a simmer. Cook until wine is mostly reduced. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, stock, and bay leaf, then reduce heat and simmer for 1 hour, allowing flavors to meld.
Discard bay leaf, then gradually stir in milk. Cover with a lid slightly ajar and simmer, stirring occasionally, until milk is fully incorporated, about 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.
You can read full here: https://www.delish.com/cooking/recipe-ideas/recipes/a7600/bolognese-sauce-recipe/