Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese Sauce-Italian comfort food at it’s best

Over the years I’ve tried at least three different Bolognese recipes and I have never been satisfied with the results. I almost gave up on trying to find the ultimate recipe but I kept searching until I found this one on the Leites Culinaria Web Site. This recipe is worth the time and effort (3-5 hours) and it will make your kitchen smell incredible!

My tips:

  • If you can’t find veal substitute for ground beef
  • This is nice served with parpadelle pasta

Here is the recipe:

After I made this recipe I purchased Marcella Hazan’s cookbook “Essentials of Classic Italian Coooking” and started trying more of recipes which include fresh pasta and her Bolognese Spinach Lasagne
The lasagna is great but it is made with a béchamel sauce vs. ricotta so the layers are thin not thick like traditional lasagna.

Wow! Every single one of her recipes is fabulous, I am a huge fan!

Bolognese Sauce Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 20 M
  • 6 H
  • Makes 4 cups


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped celery
  • 1 1/3 cups chopped carrot
  • 1/2 pound ground beef chuck
  • 1/2 pound ground pork
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, or ground if your’re bereft of fresh
  • 2 cups dry white wine
  • 3 cups reduced homemade tomato purée or canned imported Italian San Marzano tomatoes, crushed by hand, with their juice
  • As much spaghetti as you wish, cooked and drained
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, at the table


  • 1. Heat the oil and 6 tablespoons butter in a heavy 5-quart over medium heat until the butter melts and stops foaming. Drop in the onion and cook, stirring frequently, until it has become translucent, about 5 minutes.
  • 2. Dump in the celery and carrot and cook for 2 minutes, stirring the vegetables to coat them well with the fat.
  • 3. Add the ground meats, a very healthy pinch of salt, and a goodly amount of pepper. Crumble the meat with a wooden spoon, and stir well  the meats have lost their raw, red color.
  • 4. Turn the heat to low. Pour in the milk and simmer gently, stirring frequently, until it has burbled away completely, about 1 hour. Stir in the nutmeg.
  • 5. Pour in the wine and let it simmer, stirring frequently, until it has evaporated, about 1 1/4 hours.
  • 6. Add the tomato purée or crushed tomatoes and stir thoroughly to coat everything well. When the tomato puree begins to bubble, turn down the heat so that the sauce cooks at the laziest of simmers, with just an intermittent bubble breaking through the surface.
  • 7. Cook, uncovered, for 3 hours or more, stirring from time to time. While the sauce is burbling away, there’s a chance that it’ll stat drying out somewhat, and the fat will separate from the meat.To keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pot and scorching, add 1/2 cup water as necessary. But it’s crucial that by the time the sauce has finished simmering, the water should be completely evaporated, and the fat should separate from the sauce. Take a spoonful–or two. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • 8. Add remaining 2 tablespoons of butter to the hot pasta and toss with the sauce. Serve with freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano on the side.


I have copied and pasted the recipe from the LC site below as well:


One thought on “Marcella Hazan’s Bolognese Sauce-Italian comfort food at it’s best

  1. Pingback: Tasty Tuesday: Lasagne Bolognesi | EF Foundation for Foreign Study Mid-Atlantic

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