Authentic Italian Bolognese


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One of my all time favorite dishes. So hearty and filling and flavorful! I frequent Acqua Santa in Brooklyn, New York and they have by far, the best bolognese I have ever tasted. They refuse to let me in on the secret so I had to try and make it from scratch, myself. Thank you to Oh, Sweet Basil for letting me in on the secret ingredient! Enjoy this authentic dish with a couple of tweaks from yours truly. Want to cook along with me? Check out the latest Cooking with Rachel episode on YouTube now!




  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium carrots, minced
  • 2 ribs of celery, minced
  • 1 medium-sized red onion, minced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef, higher fat
  • 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
  • 4 oz pancetta, minced
  • 2 cups of halved roma tomatoes (~4-5 tomatoes)
  • 2 15 oz cans tomato sauce
  • 1 15 oz can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • dash of cooking white wine
  • zest of 1 lemon
  • a squeeze of lemon juice
  • dash of nutmeg
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Parmesan cheese for serving


  1. Preheat oven to 425°F.
  2. Halve roma tomatoes and place on a baking sheet. Drizzle with avocado oil and salt + pepper to taste.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes or until soft and charred bits start to appear.
  4. Remove the tomatoes and set aside to cool.
  5. Once cooled, blend the tomatoes in a high-power blender to make a tomato sauce.
  6. In a dutch oven or stock pot, over medium high heat, add the ground beef, sausage and pancetta and ground up the meat as it's cooking.
  7. Once browned, remove from heat and drain some of the grease.
  8. Using that same dutch pot, over medium heat add the butter and oil. Once melted, add the minced carrots, celery, and onion.
  9. Saute, stirring occasionally until tender, about 5 minutes.
  10. Toss in the garlic and cook for another minute.
  11. Pour in a dash of wine and stir.
  12. Add back in the ground beef, sausage and pancetta.
  13. Cook for about 5 minutes and then start adding in all other ingredients.
  14. Stir well to combine and then let simmer for 3 hours or for an entire afternoon.
  15. Remove the bay leaves and serve with fresh pasta, preferably pappardelle and fresh Parmesan cheese.

*This keeps well in the fridge for 3-4 days or freeze in airtight container. It tastes great the next day - try using this in a lasagna!


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