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.




  • 1 TBSP unsalted butter
  • 1 TBSP olive oil
  • 2 carrots, minced
  • 2 celery, minced
  • 1 medium-sized red onion, minced
  • 6 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 lb ground beef higher fat
  • 1 lb 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 oil and salt.
  3. Roast for 20 minutes or until soft and charred bits start to appear.
  4. Remove the tomatoes and set aside.
  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 butter and oil. Once melted, add the minced carrots, celery, and onion.
  7. Saute, stirring occasionally until tender, about 5 minutes.
  8. Toss in the garlic and cook for another minute.
  9. Pour in a dash of wine and stir.
  10. Add the ground beef, sausage and pancetta and ground up the meat as it's cooking.
  11. Once the meat is cooked, start adding all other ingredients. Do not drain grease from the meat!
  12. Stir well to combine and then let simmer for 2-3 hours for an entire afternoon.
  13. 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 -- it tastes great the next day, too. Or freeze in airtight container.


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