Milk adds to authenticity

Milk adds to authenticity

Authentic Bolognese Sauce

Growing up with Canadian parents meant that spaghetti night consisted of a bag of white spaghetti noodles with ground beef cooked in Ragu® Spaghetti Sauce spread over top. Although it was tasty and cheap, it was hardly authentic and probably the mock of many Italian families in the neighborhood. Now in my adulthood, I look to discover the more authentic tastes and flavors with my cooking.

I’ve been making this Authentic Bolognese Sauce for several years now and each time I make small adjustments to try to find the perfect balance of texture and flavor. The basis for this recipe comes from a combination of several old world Italian recipes, some dating back as far as the 1700s. This recipe requires a lot of up front preparation and it takes all afternoon to cook, but I guarantee it’s well worth it. This is a recipe that should not be rushed and should only be made with the freshest, most highest quality of ingredients.

Feel free to substitute the meat in this recipe to meet your own personal preferences. Some alternatives include ground turkey, ground chicken, Italian sausage, ground pork, ground beef, and even ground lamb. This makes for a versatile base recipe for left over meat.


  • 1kg ground beef
  • 500g ground pork (optionally, you may use crumbled Italian sausage with the casing removed)
  • 2 tbsp. butter
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 1-2 large carrot chopped
  • 2-3 stalks celery chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • ½ cup pancetta (or bacon) chopped
  • 6 cloves garlic chopped
  • 1 28oz can of San Marzano tomatoes crushed by hand
  • 1 28oz can of stewed tomatoes or tomato sauce
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup beef stock (optional)
  • 3 bay leaves
  • 1 tbsp. dried basil
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp. dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp. dried red chili flakes


  1. Finely chop onion, carrot, celery, and green pepper and set aside
  2. Chop garlic and set aside
  3. Chop pancetta or bacon and set aside
  4. Heat butter and olive oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat
  5. Add pancetta or bacon and cook until slightly crispy
  6. Without draining pork fat, stir in onion, carrot, celery, and green pepper
  7. Cook stirring often 15-17 minutes until vegetables have softened and liquid has been absorbed
  8. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute
  9. Add ground meat and break up into fine pieces with a spoon
  10. Cook 10-15 minutes or until meat has cooked through and any liquid has been absorbed
  11. Season with salt and pepper
  12. Increase heat to high and stir in red wine
  13. Cook until wine has been absorbed (about 3-5 minutes)
  14. Add milk and stir until it has been absorbed by the mixture and thickened (about 3 minutes)
  15. Add both cans of tomatoes (crush whole tomatoes by hand before putting into pot)
  16. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low
  17. Add dried herbs
  18. Simmer, uncovered, for 2-3 hours, stirring occasionally
  19. When the mixture has thickened and most of the liquid has been absorbed, it is ready
  20. Season to taste with salt, pepper, basil, oregano, thyme, chili flakes
  21. Remove bay leaves and serve over pasta


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