Here you will find out what you need to know about Bolognese and how you can prepare a simple recipe.

The best Bolognese recipes incorporate dairy and flavorings for a rich sauce

Bolognese recipes

The ingredients are kept fairly simple

Traditionally, Bolognese is made with ground beef, wine and tomatoes and takes a few hours to cook. In contrast to other meat sauces, this one builds on the interplay of different ingredients to develop a special taste.

The use of milk or cream in the sauce is controversial. The short answer is that the milk was traditionally used to tenderize the small pieces of meat. Very lean ground beef can become tough, especially because the gravy is cooked for so long. Adding milk early in the cooking process allows the meat to absorb fat and lactic acid, resulting in a really tender and silky sauce at the end.

The milk also helps balance the acidity of the tomatoes, eliminating the need for added sugar, an even more controversial element of a tomato sauce.

The sauce should be rich and thick with a strong tomato flavor enhanced by the ground beef.

Keep in mind that this sauce is all about layering, so use good tomatoes and good wine. Seasoned lightly at the beginning and more heavily towards the end for the best bolognese sauce imaginable.

The recipe delivers a quality result with less than 15 ingredients

The rich sauce goes well with pasta

The rich sauce goes well with pasta


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic, grated
  • 85 grams pancetta
  • 280 grams ground beef
  • 180 milliliters dry red wine
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 235 milliliters whole milk or cream
  • 800 grams canned tomatoes, chopped or mashed
  • about 600 grams pasta
  • salt and black pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese to serve


  1. Heat a pan on medium-high and add the oil, crushed garlic and chopped onions and pancetta. Stir until the onions become translucent and start to brown.
  2. When the mixture is lightly browned, transfer to a small bowl, leaving some of the rendered fat in the pan.
  3. Add the ground beef to the pan and crumble with the back of a wooden spoon. When the meat is almost done, add the wine and bay leaves and simmer until most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. Add the milk or cream and simmer again. When most of the liquid has been absorbed, return the pancetta, onions and garlic to the mixture. Add the tomatoes and stir everything together.
  5. When the sauce begins to bubble, reduce the heat to low. Cover and cook for an hour, stirring occasionally. The fat will gradually separate from the sauce, but don’t worry—just stir it back together.
  6. Taste, season with salt and pepper and cook for another 30 minutes. Stir occasionally and season with salt before serving.
  7. Top with the cooked pasta and serve with grated Parmesan.

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