Bolognese Meat Sauce

Braised in wine, milk, and beef stock with a hint of mushrooms, Bolognese meat sauce is the perfect recipe to highlight the savory, earthy flavors of grassfed ground beef. Spaghetti, taglietelle, or bucatini - all pair well with this rich, flavorful Italian meat sauce!

1 hr and 30 mins - 2 hrs

Cooking Directions

Makes 4 cups


Bring a teakettle of water to a boil. Put the dried mushrooms in a small bowl, cover with 1 cup boiling water, and let them soak for 20 minutes. Drain the mushrooms, reserving the soaking liquid, and chop them finely. Strain the soaking liquid and set it aside.


Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the chopped mushrooms, pancetta, onion, carrot, and celery and cook until the pancetta and vegetables begin to brown, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Add the ground beef, pepper flakes, garlic, salt, and pepper and cook, breaking up the ground beef with a wooden spoon, until it changes color, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat begins to brown in the bottom of the pan, about 12 minutes.


Reduce the heat to low, pour in the wine, milk, stock, and the reserved mushroom soaking liquid. Use the spoon to scrape the bottom of the pan clean. Simmer the sauce partially covered until it is very thick, 1 1/2 to 1 3/4 hours.


Note:  When tossing this sauce with pasta, reserve 1/4 cup of the pasta cooking water to splash in if it seems too dry or "tight."


Source:  Curry, Lynne. "Bolognese Meat Sauce." Pure Beef: An Essential Guide to Artisan Meat with Recipes for Every Cut. Pennsylvania: Running Press Book Publishers, 2012. 90-91. Print.

1 oz dried porcini mushrooms

3 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil

2 oz pancetta or bacon, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 celery stalk, finely chopped

1 lb ground beef

1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 1/4 tsp salt

2 tbsp tomato paste

1/2 cup dry white wine

3/4 cup whole milk

1 cup low-salt beef stock