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Bolognese Sauce

  • yield: Makes about 8 Cups
Photography: DAVID M. RUSSELL




For soffrito

  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3 ounces pancetta, cut into 1/4-inch pieces (2/3 cup)
  • 2/3 cup minced yellow onion (1/2 medium)
  • 2/3 cup minced carrot (2 medium)
  • 2/3 cup minced celery (1 rib)

For sauce

  • 1 pound ground beef, such as chuck or sirloin
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 3 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon tomato paste
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/4 cups whole milk
  • 5 sprigs thyme, tied into a bundle with kitchen twine
  • 1 to 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 can (28 ounces) whole peeled tomatoes, pureed (with juice) in a blender (or through a food mill)
  • 6 to 7 cups Basic Chicken Stock
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Step 1

    Heat butter and oil in a large pot over medium-high heat until butter starts to sizzle, then reduce heat to medium. Add pancetta, and cook until golden and fat has rendered, about 2 1/2 minutes. Add onion, carrot, and celery, and cook, stirring often, until just beginning to brown around edges, about 10 minutes (adjust heat if mixture is browning too quickly).

  2. Step 2

    Add beef and pork and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently and separating meat with the back of a wooden spoon, until no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes. Once meat is completely browned, pour off any excess fat. Add tomato paste and cook 1 minute, stirring to intensify sweetness.

  3. Step 3

    Pour in wine and cook, stirring to scrape up browned bits from bottom of pot, until liquid has evaporated, 6 to 7 minutes. Add 1 cup milk and cook until reduced by half, about 3 minutes (don't worry if it appears slightly curdled, it will smooth out again). Add thyme bundle and bay leaves, and then pour in tomatoes and 6 cups stock. Season with 1

  4. Step 4

    Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a very low simmer and cook, partially covered, 3 to 3 1/2 hours, skimming the fat from the surface with a ladle periodically. If at any time the sauce appears too dry, add up to 1 cup more stock as necessary. The finished sauce should have the consistency of a loose chili. Stir in remaining 1/4 cup milk and season with salt and pepper, as desired. If not serving immediately, let cool completely before transferring to airtight containers. Refrigerate up to 3 days or freeze up to 3 months; defrost in the refrigerator before using.

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Reviews (2)

  • 7 Oct, 2013

    This is a very good authentic and basic recipe. I would advise to make sure you finely chop the onions, carrots and celery. I did a small to medium chop and even after hours of simmering I could still identify carrot rounds and celery bits. I think these ingredients are supposed to meld into the sauce. I did not use any chicken broth because I thought that would make it much too thin. I can't understand how they came up with 6 cups of broth.

  • 6 Jun, 2013

    Please advise: Step 3, last sentence is incomplete. "Season with 1..." what? Many thanks!