Italian bolognese

Savor the Flavors of Italy: Authentic Italian Bolognese Recipe

Transport yourself to the charming streets of Italy with our authentic Italian Bolognese recipe. This classic dish, known for its rich and hearty meat sauce, is a staple of Italian cuisine and a favorite comfort food around the world. Made with a flavorful combination of ground beef, tomatoes, onions, carrots, and aromatic herbs, Bolognese sauce is a true taste of Italy. Join us as we take you through the steps of crafting this beloved dish and bring a touch of Italian flair to your kitchen.


  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


  1. Sauté Aromatics: Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add chopped onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Sauté until vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  2. Brown Ground Beef: Add ground beef to the pot and cook until browned, breaking it up with a wooden spoon.
  3. Simmer Sauce: Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, and red wine (if using). Add dried oregano, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce heat to low and let it simmer for 1-2 hours, stirring occasionally, until thickened and flavors are melded.
  4. Serve: Once the Bolognese sauce has reached your desired consistency, remove it from heat. Serve hot over cooked pasta of your choice, garnished with fresh parsley and grated Parmesan cheese.

Cook Notes and Variations:

  • Vegetarian Option: For a meat-free version of Bolognese sauce, omit the ground beef and use a combination of diced mushrooms and lentils or textured vegetable protein (TVP) instead. Sauté the mushrooms along with the vegetables until they release their moisture, then proceed with the recipe as usual.
  • Protein Variation: Experiment with different types of ground meat for your Bolognese sauce. Try using a combination of ground beef, pork, and veal for a traditional Italian flavor, or substitute ground turkey or chicken for a leaner option. Adjust seasoning accordingly based on the type of meat used.

Keto and Low-Carb Versions:

  • Keto-Friendly Option: To make a keto-friendly version of Bolognese sauce, omit the carrots and use a sugar-free tomato paste to reduce the carb content. Serve the sauce over spiralized zucchini or spaghetti squash for a low-carb pasta alternative.
  • Low-Carb Variation: For a low-carb variation, serve the Bolognese sauce over steamed or roasted vegetables such as cauliflower rice, broccoli, or sautéed spinach. These low-carb options provide a nutritious base for the flavorful meat sauce without the need for traditional pasta.

With its robust flavors and comforting aroma, Italian Bolognese sauce is a timeless classic that never fails to delight. Whether enjoyed as a quick weeknight meal or served to guests at a dinner party, this hearty sauce is sure to impress. So, gather your ingredients, embrace the spirit of Italy, and savor the rich flavors of homemade Bolognese sauce in every delicious bite

Enhancing Your Bolognese Experience: Tips and Variations

  1. Slow Cooker Method: For a convenient and hands-off approach, consider making Bolognese sauce in a slow cooker. Simply brown the ground beef and sauté the vegetables as instructed, then transfer everything to a slow cooker along with the remaining ingredients. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or on high for 3-4 hours until the flavors have melded together beautifully.
  2. Extra Veggie Boost: Boost the nutritional content of your Bolognese sauce by adding additional vegetables such as bell peppers, zucchini, or mushrooms. These vegetables not only add texture and flavor but also contribute to a more well-rounded and wholesome dish. Finely chop or grate the vegetables and sauté them along with the other aromatics for a deliciously hearty sauce.
  3. Meat Medley: Add depth of flavor to your Bolognese sauce by incorporating a combination of ground meats. Mix ground beef with ground pork or veal for a richer and more complex flavor profile. The different meats complement each other beautifully and result in a sauce that’s truly indulgent and satisfying.
  4. Fresh Tomato Twist: For a lighter and fresher take on Bolognese sauce, use fresh tomatoes instead of canned ones. Dice fresh tomatoes and add them to the pot along with the other vegetables. Simmer the sauce until the tomatoes break down and release their juices, creating a vibrant and flavorful sauce that’s perfect for summer.
  5. Creamy Addition: Add a touch of creaminess to your Bolognese sauce by stirring in a splash of heavy cream or coconut cream towards the end of cooking. The cream adds richness and depth to the sauce, creating a luxurious texture that coats the pasta beautifully. Be sure to stir the cream gently into the sauce just before serving to avoid curdling.
  6. Cheese Lover’s Delight: For a cheesy twist on Bolognese sauce, stir in a generous handful of grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese before serving. The cheese melts into the sauce, adding a savory umami flavor and creating a luscious and indulgent texture. Serve the cheesy Bolognese sauce over pasta or use it as a filling for lasagna or stuffed peppers.

With these creative tips and variations, you can elevate your Bolognese sauce to new heights and customize it to suit your taste preferences. Whether you prefer a classic meaty version or enjoy experimenting with different ingredients and flavors, there’s no limit to the culinary possibilities with Bolognese sauce. So, get creative in the kitchen, embrace the flavors of Italy, and savor every delicious spoonful of homemade Bolognese sauce. Buon appetito!

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