Tuesday, March 15, 2022


The first time I tasted Bolognese sauce was my first visit to Italy in 1969. I had it again in a restaurant located near Dupont Circle, Washington, D.C. It was only on their "Primi Piatti" (first dishes) menu. I always ordered it for my main course. I worked on duplicating this recipe for 20 years.

You can make Bolognese sauce with just ground beef, if you prefer.

2 medium carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
1 large yellow onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
3 cloves garlic


1T olive oil
 lbs ground chuck 
4 links mild Italian sausages, removed from casings
½ cup dry white wine
4 cups beef broth
2 (6-oz) cans tomato paste
1 cup water
1 ½ t sea salt
½ t finely ground black pepper

4 T unsalted butter

1 cup whole milk
2 t dried oregano
8 leaves fresh basil, torn or chiffonade
½ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
½ t red pepper flakes (optional)
Fresh basil, for garnish

In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, process the carrots, onion, celery, and garlic 
until finely minced; or you can finely mince them with a knife.
In a Dutch oven or large pot, add the oil and cook the soffritto over medium heat for 10 minutes. Spoon mixture into a large bowl and set aside.

In the same pot, over medium heat, cook the Italian sausage 
until golden, breaking up chunks with a wooden spoon.
Remove to the bowl with the soffritto.
Add a third of the ground beef and brown until crumbly, about 10 minutes.
Spoon into the large bowl with the sausage and soffritto
Repeat with half of the rest of the beef, then spoon into the bowl with the cooked vegetables.
Repeat with the last of the beef.
Add the wine, to the 3rd batch of beef, stirring up browned bits on the bottom of the pan and cook a couple of minutes.

Return the soffritto, Italian sausage, and ground beef to the pot.
Add the beef broth, tomato paste, water, salt, and pepper; mix in well.
Simmer very gently, mostly covered, for 1
½  hours, stirring often.

Add the butter and rest of the ingredients and simmer another 15 minutes.

Boil the pappardelle in salted water until al dente "to the tooth(about 10-12 minutes). 
Drain into a colander and then pour back into the pot. 
Spoon in some of the Bolognese sauce and stir to combine.
Spoon into warm pasta bowls and add a little more sauce, if desired, and garnish with fresh basil.

Makes enough for 2-3 more meals.

Buon Appetito!