Easy recipe for Italian Bolognese sauce

Bolognese sauce (or, as we call it, ragù alla Bolognese) is a rich and delicious meaty sauce typical of the city of Bologna, appreciated everywhere in Italy and abroad.

Though the traditional recipe entails a long cooking time (four hours or more), it is possible to obtain a mouthwatering result in about one hour, even less if you’re using a pressure cooker like I did 🙂

DSCN2204Also, I only make this recipe with minced meat (I usually choose a mix of pork and beef, sometimes only pork), without the addition of pancetta (a type of bacon) or other cold cuts, but I’ll explain you how to do it both ways, with or without bacon.

You will need:

  • Minced meat (beef, pork, or mixed): 300 g if you want to add bacon, 450 g if not
  • 150 g of bacon
  • 1 small carrot
  • 1 onion
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 300 g tomato purée (or canned peeled tomatoes)
  • half glass of white wine
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • black pepper

What to do:

If you’re using bacon, chop it into small pieces and keep aside.

Dice onion, carrot and celery finely or coarsely according to your taste; I prefer to use more onion that carrot and more carrot than celery, and I chop up everything finely, except some slightly bigger pieces of carrot.

Put the bacon in a pot or pressure cooker on low-medium heat, and let it melt, stirring with a wooden spoon, then add 3 tablespoons of olive oil.

If you’re not using bacon, just heat 4-5 tablespoons of olive oil and add the diced vegetables: they have to lightly fry and sweat on low heat for a few minutes.

DSCN2194After that, add the minced meat, crumbling it with your hands. Raise the heat to medium and stir well. You need to keep doing that until all the meat has changed colour.

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Now pour in the wine, stir well, and stir gently from time to time until the wine evaporates completely.

I know, I said white wine... but I didn't have any of it!
I know, I said white wine… but I didn’t have any of it! Anyway, it will only slightly change the colour

When you’re sure that all the wine is gone, season with salt and pepper and add the tomato purée (if you’re using peeled tomatoes, cut them previously or just crash them a bit.)

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Stir well and add some water (2-4 glasses, depending on how fluid you want your sauce to be. At this time I didn’t add much water because I want my sauce to be pretty compact… in the next post you’ll see why!)

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If you are using a pressure cooker, now is the time to stir well, close the lid and the valve and wait for the whistle: when you hear it, go back to low heat and let it cook for another 20 to 30 minutes.

If you don’t have a pressure cooker and are using a normal pot, bring the sauce to boil and then let simmer for at least 40 minutes, stirring from time to time.

Your Bolognese is ready!

spoon

You can enjoy it with any kind of pasta (here’s a guide on how to boil pasta like a pro), to fill tasty Lasagne or Cannelloni, or you also make a quick and tasty grub: just bake a slice of bread covered in Bolognese sauce and some cheese until it is melted, it’s something I love!

If you have leftover sauce, you can store it in the fridge for three days or freeze it.

Try it and let me know how it goes!!!

Daniela

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