Of all the pasta sauces I make, Bolognese sauce is one that I’ve never really mastered. So when my mom was in town I had her show me how to make this authentic Bolognese Sauce recipe that she got when she was in Bologna, Italy decades ago. (I have included some Ninja Tips all the way at the bottom.)
She had eaten at a restaurant called, Ristorante Diana, and had the best pasta with Bolognese sauce she had ever eaten. Ristorante Diana is Mario Batali’s favorite lunch spot in Bologna though my Mom was there before Mario was old enough to handle a chef’s knife. So when she was there she loved it so much she couldn’t stop herself from asking for the recipe. Thankfully, they obliged. My mom has been making this sauce for decades, but I didn’t start eating it until a few years ago (I’m a late bloomer), definitely my mistake.
You would think that I would have had bolognese sauce before since I have been to Bologna. When I was eighteen I had the privilege of traveling to Italy with me sister. My dad’s first cousin, Marco, drove us through Bologna and we stopped to eat at an amazing little restaurant with the most spectacular views of the countryside. I would like to tell you that my most vivid memory of the trip was the pasta with Bolognese Sauce, but it’s me, and it’s never that simple. I have two memories, the first being the world’s tiniest car that drove me to Bologna (oh yes, I got the backseat…if that’s what you call it)! The second would be the waiter yelling at me in Italian for ordering pasta with pesto sauce in Bologna (yes, I really did, pesto wasn’t even on the menu). I settled with lasagna…don’t ask why, I have no idea.
Luckily, my mother was more intelligent than her daughter when she made the trip to Bologna. She saw a culinary opportunity, ceased it and learned how to make an authentic bolognese sauce. I wish I was that smart when I was there. I guess I was too busy inadvertently insulting the waiter and presumably the entire region!
My mom taught me how to make this bolognese sauce recipe, and now let her teach you by watching the video below. I warn you now, we had way too much fun making this video. I suggest you do the same. And when you do, leave me a comment and tell me all about it. I know my mom would love to know how it turned out, and me too!
Authentic Bolognese Sauce Recipe
4 tbsp butter, unsalted
2 tbsp olive oil
2-3 carrots, peeled and cut
½ sweet onion, peeled and cut
2 stalks celery, cut
1 garlic clove, minced
½ lb veal, ground
½ lb pork, ground
1 ½ lb sirloin, ground
2 cans whole tomatoes, pureed
3 bay leaves
½ tsp nutmeg
1 tbsp salt
½ tsp white pepper
3 beef bouillion cubes
½ cup heavy whipping cream
In a food processor, zoom the carrots, and onion until chunky.
In a large sauce pan on medium/high heat add the butter and olive oil. Add the carrots and onions, cooking until tender, 5 minutes. Add the garlic, cook 1 minute. Add the veal, pork and sirloin, cooking and stirring until brown, 15 -20 minutes. Add the pureed tomatoes. Season with salt, white pepper and nutmeg. Add the bouillion and bay leaves. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring occasionally, 1- 1 ½ hours. Stir in the whipping cream. Voila! Authentic bolognese sauce.
Cook pasta, drain and place in a large bowl. Mix in bolognese sauce. Sprinkle with parmesan. Serve.
Ninja Tips & Deals
Here are all of the tools that I used in preparing this bolognese sauce. Having the right tool for the job definitely makes a difference – they will make your life easier and they make final product taste better too. Why? Because getting the right chop effects taste and texture and getting it all to cook evenly makes a huge difference. Quality cookware is always worth it. And it lasts a lifetime.
All Clad 6 Quart Stockpot – I live with this pot. It is out & in use more than it is in the cabinet.
All Clad Immersion Blender – Get a good one. The cheap ones burn out and you wind up replacing them.
Wusthof 8″ Chef’s Knife – Again, this is a kitchen staple. I’ve had mine for 10 years or more and I’m sure will have it for a long time to come.
All Clad Pasta Pot – 12 Qt – With Insert – They make another one that is twice the price, but this one is great. I don’t see the need to spend more.
Cuisinart Food Processor – 9 Cup – I also own the 7 cup, but I find I use this one way more.
These are the main tools I used making the bolognese sauce, but they are also some of the workhorses in my kitchen.