Bolognese Style Meat Sauce (ragu alle bolognese)

  • Yield : About 6 cups
  • Servings : 6-8
  • Prep Time : 20m
  • Cook Time : 2:20 h
  • Ready In : 2:40 h
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Nutritional Info

This information is per serving.

  • Calories

  • Calories from Fat

  • Total Fat

  • Saturated Fat

  • Trans Fat

  • Cholesterol

  • Sodium

  • Carbohydrates

  • Dietary Fiber

  • Sugar

  • Protein

  • Serving Size:

    1 cup (240 ml)

Bologna, Italy not only gave the world one of its most popular cold cuts, bologna (mortadella), but a meat based tomato sauce made with carrots and celery. Who said pasta isn’t healthy?

The flavor and thickness of Bolognese sauce comes from simmering several hours to reduce the liquid content and concentrate the flavors.

This Bolognese style sauce omits pancetta (bacon) and milk to reduce saturated to 3 grams per serving. For lower saturated fat, substitute lean ground chicken or turkey for the beef.

You can make this Bolognese Style Meat Sauce several days in advanced or cooled and frozen for six months or more.

Cook’s Tip

Adjust herbs to your taste.


  • 2 tablespoons (30 ml) olive oil
  • 1 (170 g) medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 (130 g) carrot, shredded or finely chopped
  • 2 (100 g ) celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 (5 g) garlic clove, minced
  • 8 oz. (225 g) lean ground beef (80/20 or leaner)
  • Kosher salt
  • Fresh found black pepper
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) dry red or white wine
  • 14.5 (411 g) canned low sodium diced tomatoes
  • 8 oz. (225 g) canned low sodium tomato sauce
  • Herbs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Pinch of dried oregano
  • Pinch of dried thyme
  • Pinch of ground anise
  • Red pepper flakes to taste (optional)

Method of Preparation

Step 1

Heat oil in a heavy 5 qt/l saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and sauté 4 to 6 minutes or until translucent. Add carrot, celery and garlic. Cook 3 to 4 minutes stirring constantly to prevent garlic from burning.

Step 2

Add beef and break it up using the back of a wood or other large spoon combining with the vegetables. Cook until meat is browned. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Step 3

Add the wine and cook, stirring 3 to 4 minutes or until liquid evaporates.

Step 4

Stir in tomatoes and herbs. Increase heat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered 1.5 to 2 hours stirring occasionally. Taste, add salt and pepper if necessary and serve.