Bolognese is a very popular sauce in Northern Italy and here in the states at upscale restaurants. It’s basically a meat sauce with some tomato, not a tomato sauce with meat.
A true bolognese takes several hours for the flavors to meld together. Made with ground meat (usually beef), the “trinity” of carrots, onion, and celery, milk, wine and chopped tomatoes, it will take about twenty minutes standing at the stove to layer each ingredient. Then it’s super easy, and can cook in a crock pot for three to four hours.
You can make the original bolognese or any variation below. Whichever you make, know there’s a lot more you can do with bolognese asides pasta, so read all the way down.
Authentic Bolognese (from Marcella Hazan)
All of my variations on bolognese below start with the foundational recipe from the amazing, quintessential Italian Cook Book Queen, Marcella Hazan. In her book. We cooked from this marvelous cookbook, the Essentials of Classical Italian Cooking. I wrote about her here and I was able to connect with her before she passed away.
At first glance, bolognese may seem daunting, because you do have to remain at the stove to add the ingredients in intervals, but once all the ingredients are incorporated, the bolognese braises for several hours without you.
Variations on Bolognese (Marcella Hazan)
In the Fall, I like to mix ground pork with beef and add in some chopped apple and sage for a FALL BOLOGNESE.
I n the summer, I made a Pork and Peaches Bolognese.
Veal and Pork Bolognese
This is a classic combination. You could also change out the veal or the beef with ground lamb. Recipe Here.
Once you know which bolognese you want to make, see this post on how to cook pasta like an Italian.
What to do with Leftover Bolognese
There are a lot of ways to use Bolognese.
- Shepherd’s Pie (use mashed potatoes or cauliflower mash)
- Italian Style Sloppy Joe’s
- Spaghetti Squash Bolognese Casserole (recipe coming)
- Keto Flatbread
Be Creative. Here I’ve used bolognese with a fun shaped pasta, some peas, and ricotta.