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Classic Bolognese Recipe ~ for meat lovers and those looking for a classic meal for a special occasion, this is it. Buttery, velvety tomato rich meat sauce.
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Classic Bolognese Recipe

Classic Bolognese Recipes ~ homemade Italian bolognese recipe with step by step instructions for a rich flavored, no fail classic. 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 30 mins
Total Time1 hr 45 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Homemade Bolognese
Servings: 4
Author: A Gouda Life


  • 1/3 cup olive oil plus more for drizzling
  • 5 tablespoons butter divided
  • ½ pound sirloin or top round cut in 1” cubes
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 stalk celery
  • 4 ounces pancetta
  • ¼ pound ground veal
  • ¼ pound ground pork plain - NOT breakfast sausage
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic finely minced
  • 4 ounces double oncentrate tomato paste
  • ¾ cup dry white wine Pinot Grigio used
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Parmigiano Reggiano cheese with a rind
  • 1 cup pasta water
  • Pappardelle pasta
  • 6-8 basil leaves sliced in ribbons


  • In a food processor or blender, add 1/3 cup of olive oil, the carrots, celery and pancetta. Puree and set aside.
  • Add a drizzle of olive oil and 1 tablespoon of butter to an oven-safe pot or Dutch oven over medium heat.
  • Season the beef with salt and pepper and add it to the pot, searing on both sides then add the pancetta mixture cooking over medium heat. Drop in the veal and pork, seasoning with salt and pepper and continue cooking, breaking up the ground meat with a wooden spoon.
  • Add the garlic and onion, stirring to combine and cook 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste, blending and simmer 4-5 minutes.
  • Pour the wine into the pot, scraping up anything on the bottom of the pot. Add the bay leaves then cover and simmer 6-8 minutes allowing the wine to reduce.
  • Add 3 tablespoons of butter, cubed, blending and allowing the butter to melt.
  • Next add the cheese rind to the pot then cover and bake 1 hour at 275 degrees.
  • Check the Bolognese after 1 hour. If the beef isn’t fork-tender, continue cooking in the oven, checking every 20 minutes or so until the beef is fork tender.
  • When the beef is tender and the sauce is reduced, use a spoon and remove any extra grease from the sauce.
  • Cook the pasta according to the package directions, reserving about 1 cup of pasta water.
  • Add ¼ cup of pasta water at a time to the sauce until it reaches the desired consistency (you probably won't use all of the pasta water).
  • Blend in two more tablespoons of butter then taste and adjust the salt as you like.
  • Top the drained pasta with a couple ladles of sauce to ‘stain’ it. Slice and sprinkle the basil over the top. Serve the remaining sauce on the side along with a good loaf of bread or breadsticks and the parmesan cheese for grating.