Authentic Bolognese Sauce: Grandma's Recipe For Rag Bolognese

The Bella Vita
by The Bella Vita
4 portion
3 hr 20 min

This recipe for authentic bolognese sauce the way grandma used to make it, a family recipe that was passed from my grandma to my mom and that my mom passed onto me.

Bolognese sauce, or ragù bolognese, is a sauce considered one of the “basics” of Italian cuisine.

Like with any traditional recipe, you can find it prepared with different nuances and variations.

However, the cornerstones of the recipe remain unchanged, which involve the use of an initial chop of celery, carrot and onion, ground beef to which is added a more fatty and flavorful part that can be bacon or sausage.

The meat is blended with red wine, and cooked in tomato puree.

Fundamental to the success of an excellent Bolognese sauce is to follow all the cooking steps well, patiently and carefully, and not to be in a hurry.

In fact, long cooking is essential for the right flavor and texture.

authentic bolognese sauce

What Is Bolognese?

Ingredients Needed

These are the main ingredients you need for this homemade bolognese sauce.

For the step-by-step directions and measurements, scroll down to our printable recipe card.

  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Onions
  • Pancetta (bacon)
  • Mince beef
  • Tomato puree (passata)
  • Bay leaf
  • Basil leaves
  • Red wine
  • Broth (see below how to prepare it)
  • Salt & black pepper
  • Extra virgin olive oil

authentic bolognese sauce

How to serve Authentic Bolognese Sauce

You can easily add your favorite pasta to this recipe.

This sauce is also the main ingredient in the classic lasagna Bolognese and many other super tasty recipes: once you prepare a good sauce, it will seem like a piece of cake to make them.

If you do not want to use pasta, you can accompany the sauce with polenta or use it to season rice for timballi.

authentic bolognese sauce

Authentic Bolognese Sauce: Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best pasta to serve with Bolognese Sauce?

What Is Bolognese?

How to store leftovers?

What’s the difference between ragu and Bolognese?

How to thicken Bolognese sauce

What Meat for Bolognese Sauce?

How long should you simmer bolognese?

Do you cover bolognese when simmering?

Do you put wine in Bolognese sauce?

Can I make bolognese without wine?

Tips on How to make a good Bolognese

Read more here!


Be sure to follow me on social media, so you never miss a post!

Facebook Group | Pinterest

Authentic Bolognese Sauce: Grandma's Recipe For Rag Bolognese
Recipe details
  • 4  portion
  • Prep time: 20 Minutes Cook time: 3 Hours Total time: 3 hr 20 min
Show Nutrition Info
Hide Nutrition Info

  • 2 Carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 White onion, finely chopped
  • 3 Celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 1 Cup of pancetta/bacon (150 grams)
  • 2.20 Pounds of ground beef (1 KG)
  • 4 Cups of tomato puree (1 litre)
  • 2 Bay leaf
  • 5 Basil leaves
  • 1 Cup of red wine
  • 2 Cups of vegetable broth
  • 3 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • Salt & black pepper

Wash the celery and carrot stalks, peel them, and peel the onion.
Prepare the broth.
Finely chop the carrot, celery and onion and set aside.
In a large pot, cook over high heat the pork bacon, until it releases some of its fat.
Next add 3 tablespoons of olive oil, the finely chopped carrot, celery and onion and wilt them over low heat.
Add the ground beef, mix well, and flavoring with one or two Bay leaf, sauté until it begins to sizzle.
Deglaze with red wine and stir gently until the alcoholic part of the wine evaporates.
Pour the passata into the pot as well, mix, cover with the lid leaving a crack, and cook on low heat. At this point it is necessary to transfer the pot to a small fire relative to its size and get to lower the flame little by little until it cooks slowly, barely simmering.
Stirring every 20 minutes or so, adding a few tablespoons of broth if necessary and a little at a time.
When almost cooked, adjust salt if necessary.
And add a pinch of pepper.
The end result must be a creamy mixture!
The Bella Vita
Want more details about this and other recipes? Check out more here!
  • Car28642824 Car28642824 on Oct 04, 2022

    Instructions don’t say when to add the tomato sauce to the meat and vegetables mixture.

    • See 1 previous
    • Susan Susan on Jan 07, 2023

      The instructions indicate to add the "passata" which is the tomato puree - see line #8 above. Hope this helps.

  • Ban49189358 Ban49189358 on Oct 04, 2022

    That sounds heavenly!