Borrowed Bolognese

If you have never made a Bolognese Sauce, you need to!!  This is a great versatile sauce that we will talk about in some future posts.

Once you make this recipe it will soon become a classic in your kitchen.

I have always used a recipe by Lidia Bastianich from a cookbook I have had for many years. This recipe takes some time, but if made ahead can go in crock pot to simmer. This is also a great recipe to make extra and put in the freezer for future meals.

For all of you who are thinking this is not the recipe for you, it is not complicated just a little time consuming, BUT WELL WORTH IT!!!! What a great snowy day recipe, the smells in the house will be incredible!!! Grab some crusty bread and dip in the sauce as it simmers and oh my, you won’t be able to stop.


2 lbs ground beef

2 lbs ground pork

2 cups dry white wine

6 ounces bacon (I usually do extra, I add up to ½ to ¾ of a lb)

6 large garlic cloves

2T olive oil

½ t salt

2 medium onions – finely chopped or minced

2 large stalks of celery, minced or chopped

1 carrot shredded (I just chop mine)


2 cups dry red wine

2 T tomato paste

2 cups plum tomatoes and the juice

8 to 12 cups hot turkey or vegetable broth or hot water (I like the broth for added flavor)


  • Put the meat in a large mixing bowl. With your fingers break it up, add the wine and keep moistening with fingers until well mixed.
  • Cut the bacon into small pieces and put in the food processor with the garlic. Process to a fine paste.
  • Pour olive oil in a heavy saucepan and add the bacon/garlic mixture. Cook and stir until fat is rendered. Keep stirring and cooking until bacon and garlic are sizzling and aromatic and there’s a lot of fat in the pan.
  • Stir the onions and cook a couple of minutes until sizzling and starting to sweat. Stir in the celery and carrot and cook the vegetables until golden, continuing to stir, about 5 more minutes.
  • Turn up the heat a bit, push vegetable mixture off to the side and put meat into pan, sprinkle with salt. Give the meat on the bottom of pan a minute to brown, then stir around mixing in the vegetables, making sure all the meat has a chance to brown and begins to release juices. You will have a lot of liquid at this point. Cook on high heat, stirring often, until all the liquid has disappeared. This will take ½ hour to 45 minutes.
  • Lower heat so you don’t burn meat as liquid cooks out.
  • In a separate saucepan heat up the turkey or vegetable stock.
  • Add red wine to meat, and raise temperature to medium, stir and bring to a boil.   Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 minutes.
  • Drop 2T tomato paste into a clear spot on the bottom of the pan. Toast a minute, then stir to blend with meat and let it caramelize for 2 to 3 minutes.
  • Stir in crushed tomatoes. Adding broth to tomato can to get all extra liquid out.
  • Bring to a boil, continuing to stir so meat does not burn.
  • Pour 2 cups of broth, stir well and add more if needed to cover the meat. Bring to an active simmer, cover pan and adjust the heat to maintain slow, steady cooking.
  • At this point cook the sauce for 3 hours. Check pot every 20 minutes to see if more broth needs to be added. (At this point I have done several different things depending on my schedule…I have put it in the crock pot or I have also used a sauce pot that I can transition to the oven, my Le Creuset, and I would put it in the oven at 300 degrees. Checking periodically to add liquid if needed. Adjusting temp if it is too high.)
  • You want to make sure sauce has been well absorbed into the meat! If the liquid seems to be covering the meat you will need to remove the lid and let some moisture cook out.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
This is the sauce as it is simmering. As you can see it still has quite a bit of liquid floating on top, so it needs to continue to simmer longer.


There are some variations to this recipe and you can find the original recipe and the variations under “Lidia’s Italy – Ragu Alla Bolognese Ricetta Antica”. I have also added some of my touches to this as well.






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