Tested till perfect Bolognese Sauce
Bolognese Sauce
Photography by Maya Visnyei

Bolognese Sauce

Serve this rich meat sauce on spaghetti or other long pasta. The sauce tastes even better if you make it a day ahead and refrigerate it overnight because the flavour has time to ripen.

By The Canadian Living Test Kitchen

Source: Canadian Living Magazine: October 2007

Recipe4 out of 5 based on 17 ratings.
  • rating starrating starrating starrating starrating star
  • Prep time 30 minutes
  • Cook time 1 hour and 15 minutes
  • Portion size about 5 cups


  • 450 g 450glean ground beef
  • 1 tsp 1tspfennel seeds
  • 1 tbsp 1tbspextra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup 1/4cupchopped pancetta or bacon
  • 1 1large oniononions, chopped
  • 3 3cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 2carrotcarrots, finely diced
  • 2 2ribs celery, finely diced
  • 1 tsp 1tspdried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp 1/2tspeach salt and pepper
  • 1 cup 1cupmilk
  • 1 can (796 mL) 1can (796 mL)whole tomatoes
  • 1 cup 1cupdry red wine
  • 2 tbsp 2tbsptomato paste
  • 1 1bay leafbay leaves
  • pinch pincheach granulated sugar and hot pepper flakes
  • 1/4 cup 1/4cupminced fresh parsley
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In large Dutch oven, cook beef over medium-high heat, breaking up with spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer to bowl; set aside. Drain fat from pan.

While beef is cooking, using mortar and pestle or bottom of small saucepan, crush fennel seeds; add to beef.

Add oil to pan; heat over medium heat. Cook pancetta, onion, garlic, carrots, celery, oregano, salt and pepper, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 8 minutes.

Add milk; simmer until almost no liquid remains. Add tomatoes, mashing with back of spoon. Return beef mixture to pan.

Add wine, tomato paste, bay leaf, sugar and hot pepper flakes; bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer until thick enough to mound on spoon, about 45 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

Stir in parsley; cook for 2 minutes. (Make-ahead: Let cool for 30 minutes; refrigerate, uncovered, in airtight container until cold. Cover and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 1 month.)

Slow Cooker Bolognese Sauce: Cook as directed through the point of adding milk; scrape into slow cooker. Add tomatoes to slow cooker, mashing with back of spoon; add wine, bay leaf, sugar and hot pepper flakes. Cover and cook on low until vegetables are tender, about 6 hours. Stir in tomato paste and parsley; cover and cook on high until thickened and bubbly, about 20 minutes. Discard bay leaf.

Nutritional Information Per serving: about

cal 183 pro 12g total fat 11g sat. fat 5g
carb 9g fibre 2g chol 32mg sodium 320mg

% RDI:

calcium 7 iron 16 vit A 30 vit C 25
folate 6
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