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Marcella Haza Bolognese Sauce from Spinach Tiger
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5 from 4 votes

Cooking Italy: Bolognese Sauce with Fresh Pasta

A classic Bolognese sauce from Marcella Hazan's Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
Prep Time30 mins
Cook Time4 hrs
Total Time4 hrs 30 mins
Course: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Servings: 4
Author: Angela Roberts


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 6 tablespoons butter plus 2 T for tossing pasta
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/3 cup chopped celery
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped carrot
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef chuck mixed with salt and pepper before cooking
  • meat should not be too lean, ask for neck portion of chuck
  • salt
  • black pepper freshly ground
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • whole nutmeg 1/4 t
  • 2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes with juice chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 pounds pasta
  • freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese at the table


  • On medium heat, add oil, butter, onion, until translucent.
  • Add celery, carrots, cook 2 minutes, stirring, not browning. Add meat, break up with fork, and when no pink color is showing, add milk.
  • Turn down heat to simmer, stirring frequently until milk has evaporated. Add nutmeg. Add wine, stirring thoroughly. Once wine has completely evaporated, add tomatoes, and simmer on very very low stirring every now and again. If sauce dries out, add 1/2 cup water a time. Cook for a minimum of 3 hours. I think 4-6 hours is better.
  • Taste and season with salt, pepper.


This recipe is a double batch, which I recommend, as you will eat it all. You can freeze, or make other dishes with it, such as bolognese sliders.