How to Make Bolognese Sauce

Perhaps the most famous Italian pasta sauce, Bolognese is a meat-based sauce which has its origins in Bologna, Italy. Blending the rich, hearty flavours of meat, tomatoes, and vegetables such as onions, celery and carrots, Bolognese sauce is simmered for a long period of time, in order to develop its flavour to the fullest.

Prep time: 45 min
Cook time: 2 hours
Total time: 2 hours and 45 min
Yield: 6 to 8 servings
Utensils: Small saucepan, large pot, bowl, measuring cup, spoon and serving plates.

Shallots, chopped: 2
Cloves garlic, minced: 4
Carrots finely diced: 3 small (or 2 very large)
Stalks celery heart (or 2 large celery stalks) finely diced: 3
Extra virgin olive oil: 4 tablespoons
Lean ground beef: 1 1/2 lbs
Jar canned tomatoes: 1 (28 ounce)
Tomato paste: 1 (5 1/2 ounce) can
Oregano: 2 teaspoons
Basil: 2 teaspoons
Fresh parsley: 2 teaspoons
Mushrooms, sliced: 5 large
Salt: To taste


  • 1

    To begin, place a large pot on the stove over medium heat. Pour in the oil, and allow it to heat up. Once it has gotten nice and hot, toss in the shallots and garlic. Sauté these until they become soft in texture, and their colour becomes translucent.

  • 2

    Next, add in the ground beef, and stir it around in the oil, until it is completely separated, and takes on a rich, brown colour. Once the meat has been browned, you can add in the desired amount of salt and pepper.

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  • 3

    Then, proceed to add in the tomatoes and the tomato paste, along with the oregano and basil. Bring this up to a boil.

  • 4

    While the sauce is reaching a boil, take a small saucepan, and put this on the stove over medium heat. Drizzle in a little olive oil, and toss in the mushrooms, diced carrots, and diced celery. Sauté these until they become soft and brown in colour. Add these to the sauce before it boils.

  • 5

    After having brought the sauce up to a boil, lower the heat under the pot, and allow it to simmer for an hour. Bolognese sauce needs to be simmered for a long period of time, in order to allow the flavours to develop their full richness.

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  • 6

    Once an hour has elapsed, add in the fresh parsley, and simmer for another hour, until the sauce becomes thick. Serve over your favourite boiled pasta, with a generous sprinkling of freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

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