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Marcella Hazan's Bolognese Sauce

This sauce is traditionally slow-simmered with just a handful of standard ingredients, including beef and or pork, (carrots, celery, onion), tomato sauce, milk, wine, salt and pepper.
Servings 6 people


  • 1 Tbsp vegetable oil
  • 3 Tbsp butter
  • 1 small onion diced
  • 1 cup celery diced
  • 1 cup carrot diced
  • 1 lb. ground beef OR 1part pork to 2 parts beef
  • salt
  • black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. better than chicken bouillion
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup dry wine I used 1/2 cup chardonnay, 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1 ½ cups crushed tomatoes Pureed mine in a blender
  • 1 ¼ - 1 ½ lbs. pasta
  • freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese


Turn the heat to medium. Melt the butter, add the oil, add the chopped onion to the pan and cook until the onion is translucent, then add the chopped celery and carrot. Cook for about 2 minutes, stirring vegetables to coat them well.
Add ground beef, a large pinch of salt, and a few grindings of pepper. Crumble the meat, stirring well, and cook until the beef is cooked all the way through.
Add your heavy cream and let it simmer gently, stirring frequently until it has bubbled away completely. Add the nutmeg, and stir.
Add the wine and chicken broth, let it simmer until it has evaporated, then add the tomato sauce and stir thoroughly to coat all ingredients. When the tomato sauce begins to bubble, turn the heat down so that the sauce cooks at the laziest of simmers, with just an intermittent bubble breaking through to the surface. Check the taste and add more salt if needed or chicken bouillon. Cook, uncovered, for 3 hours or more, stirring from time to time. While the sauce is cooking you are likely to find that it begins to dry out and the fat separates from the meat. to keep it from sticking, add 1/2 cup of water or chicken broth whenever necessary. At the end, however, no water at all must be left and the fat must separate from the sauce. Taste and correct for salt. We let it reduce quite a bit but if you like it a little saucier, don't reduce it as much! When finished, add a little freshly grated parm cheese.