Classic Bolognese Sauce

This classic Italian sauce simmers for hours to develop maximum flavor. Made with a blend of ground beef, pork, and Italian sausage, it’s great with fresh tagliatelle or fettuccine, pappardelle, or other pasta.

If you are looking for a truly luxurious pasta sauce, there is no better candidate than a classic Italian Bolognese.

Slow cooked for at least a couple of hours, the sauce is deep, rich, flavorful, and worth the extra effort!

What is Bolognese Sauce?

Bolognese sauce is a classic Italian sauce for pasta made with ground meat such as beef or pork. It’s slow cooked with a soffritto of onions, carrots, and celery, tomatoes, and milk to give it a creamy texture.

Pronounced “bow-luh-nez,” the sauce comes from the Bologna region of Italy, hence the name. Given the cultural history of this sauce, there are many variations, but they all seem to follow a basic structure of ground meat, a soffritto, a bit of tomato, some milk, and long, slow cooking.

How to Make Bolognese Sauce

This Bolognese sauce is the family recipe of one of our readers and is used in our Lasagna Bolognese recipe. The recipe includes ground beef, pork, and Italian sausage, which is essentially seasoned ground pork and pork fat.

To start, you sweat the soffritto of minced onions, celery, and carrots with pancetta in butter. Then you add the ground meat to brown it, and sprinkle with ground clove, cinnamon, and pepper.

Add tomatoes, then milk, and simmer for at least 2 hours on low heat. Keep it partially covered, but add water if too much liquid simmers away.

Of course, you can skip the long slow cooking if you want, (we have a quick Bolognese recipe) but the flavor definitely improves with the longer cooking.

What To Serve With Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese sauce is traditionally served with fresh tagliatelle pasta, but you can also serve it with fettuccine, pappardelle, penne, or other pasta.

Can You Freeze Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese will freeze well for up to 6 months. (Here’s our favorite method.)


  • Fettuccine Alfredo
  • Baked Spaghetti
  • Penne Pasta with Meat Sauce
  • Cacio e Pepe
  • Baked Ziti

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