Bolognese Sauce

How to Make Bolognese Sauce

Unlike garlicky Italian-American “red sauce,” a true Bolognese sauce is seasoned with restraint. What makes the sauce is simmering it with the combination of milk and white wine, which makes it smooth and tenderizes the meats.

ServingsSERVES: 6-8Preparation timePREP: 15 min.Cooking timeCOOK: 4 slow cooker.


  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound lean ground pork
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced (optional)
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 2 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary or 1 teaspoon dried
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


1. Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Crumble beef and pork into the skillet, and cook for 3 minutes, breaking up lumps with a fork. Transfer meats to the slow cooker with a slotted spoon, discard fat, and wipe out the skillet with paper towels.
2. Heat remaining oil in the skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic (if using), carrot, and celery. Cook, stirring frequently, for 3 minutes, or until onion is translucent. Scrape mixture into the slow cooker.

3. Add tomatoes, milk, wine, parsley, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves to the slow cooker. Stir well.
4. Cook on Low for 6 to 8 hours or on High for 3 to 4 hours, or until meats are tender. If cooking on Low, raise the heat to High. Uncover the slow cooker, and cook for 1 hour. Remove and discard bay leaves, and season to taste with salt and pepper.

Note: The sauce can be prepared up to 4 days in advance and refrigerated, tightly covered. It can also be frozen for up to 3 months.

* Add 1/2 cup chopped dry porcini mushrooms to the slow cooker.
* Cook 2 ounces chopped pancetta with the beef and pork.