Marcella Hazan’s Perfect Bolognese


Serves 6-8

Pair with a delicious seasonal salad.

You’ll Need

  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • 2/3 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 3/4 lb any combination beef, pork or veal
  • Salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 cups diced, crushed or whole tomatoes (cut, with juices)

Prep and Cook

  • Put the oil, butter and onions in a Dutch oven or large heavy pot set over medium heat and cook until the onion is translucent. Add the celery and carrot and cook for an additional 2 minutes.
  • Add the meat and a large pinch of salt and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat has lost its raw colour.
  • Add the milk and let the sauce simmer, stirring frequently, until it's bubbled away. Add the nutmeg and stir.
  • Add the wine and let it simmer until it has evaporated away. Then add the tomatoes and stir thoroughly. When the tomatoes begin to bubble, turn the heat down so it cooks at the laziest of simmers with just an occasional bubble. Cook uncovered for a minimum of 3-4 hours (5 is even better), stirring occasionally.
  • To freeze the sauce: portion into 2-3 cup portions and place in a freezer-safe container or Ziploc bag. Sauce can be frozen for up to 3 months.
  • Bolognese can be used to make a quick classic spaghetti dinner. Serve with a seasonal salad and some fresh bread for a meal the whole family will love.
  • Make a quick chilli by adding 4 cups of Bolognese to a medium saucepan and seasoning with 1-2 teaspoons each chilli powder and cumin. Add one can of rinsed and drained kidney beans and 1 cup of frozen corn to the pot and cook over medium heat until warmed through. Adjust the seasoning if desired and serve with desired toppings.


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