If you think you’ve tried spaghetti Bolognese before, I have bad news. That tomato-rich red sauce that incidentally got the name “Bolognese” in the biggest part of the world, has little to do with the original, authentic Bolognese sauce.
Although unusual for most traditional Italian recipes, The Italian Academy of Kitchen (Academia Italiana della Cucina) did create their original authentic Bolognese sauce recipe in 1982. I’ve never found this on the internet, but my recipe is basically the Bolognese sauce that you get in Bologna or Emilia-Romagna.
Authentic Bolognese Sauce Recipe
- For making authentic Bolognese sauce, first dice your carrot, celery and onion very finely in a food processor. If you don’t have a food proceessor, simply grate the vegetables.
- Mince your pancetta, make this also look like a purée. If it’s difficult to get Italian pancetta in your neighborhood, you can use bacon instead.
- Heat the olive oil and the butter in a large pan. Add the vegetables and let them evaporate their water content. It takes about 15 minutes the get the right consistency.
- Add the minced pancetta, pork and beef. Stir.
- Stir occasionally over medium heat, and let it simmer for 30 minutes until all liquids evaporate.
- Pour in your wine and let it simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Stir in the tomato paste or purée. If you use tomato paste, dilute it first in the chicken stock. If you use tomato purée or canned tomatoes, you don’t need the stock. If you prefer canned tomatoes, use 1 1/2 cups for this recipe. Salt and pepper according to taste.
- Cook your authentic Bolognese sauce for 90 minutes in low-medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add some water or chicken stock to compensate for the evaporated liquids.
- As for the last step in making real, authentic Bolognese sauce, pour in the milk little by little. It’s important to use whole milk, some Italian recipes even call for find half and half. I used cream and whole milk in 1:4 ratio. Let it come to a simmer once again, than turn off the heat.
How to Use Your Authentic Bolognese Sauce
Bolognese sauce is a perfect accompaniment to almost any kind of Italian pasta.
You can make the favorite dish of the Emilia-Romagna region, the spaghetti alla bolognese. Just add spaghetti al dente to your authentic Bolognese sauce, top it with some grated Parmigiano-reggiano (Parmesan) cheese, and you’re ready to go. I recommend you to try this with penne, in my opinion this is better for chunky sauces.
A good Bolognese sauce is the main ingredient of the famous lasagne Bolognese (or lasagna Bolognese in the US).
How to Store Bolognese Sauce
Authentic Bolognese sauce being quite time-consuming to prepare, my advise is to make as big quantity as you can. In the pictures, I made 4 times the quantities in this recipe.
You can store it in plastic containers or bags in your freezer. Whenever you crave for a good spaghetti Bolognese, you’re ready to go in a few minutes time.
By the way, Italians do it this way. They make a very large quantity of their sauces, store it in the freezer, and only use the amount they need for dinner or lunch.
Try the authentic Bolognese sauce and compare it to whatever you’ve thought Bolognese sauce was!
Original name: Ragù alla bolognese