Posted in Recipes

Five-Hour Bolognese Sauce

Spaghetti Bolognese

I have made this 5-hour bolognese sauce many times. It’s perfect for cold evenings or for dinner companions who have a robust appetite.The reason I’m posting this online is my dinner guests always ask for the recipe and I’m tired of printing it out. Now, I can just point them to this article.


(4-6 people)

• 1 lb (0.5 kg) of ground meat: 1/2 lb (0.25 kg) ground beef + 1/2 lb (0.25 kg) ground veal
• 1/2 tablespoon of kosher salt
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1/3 cup butter
• 1 cup yellow chopped onion cut up in small dice (usually a medium sized onion is 1 cup)
• freshly ground pepper to taste
• 1 cup chopped carrots, in small dice
• 1 cup chopped celery, in small dice
• 1 ½ cups whole milk (do not use reduced fat milk)
• ¼ teaspoon nutmeg (optional)
• 1 ½ cups dry white wine
• 2 cups chopped canned tomatoes with juice (best one to use is the Pomi brand chopped tomatoes from Italy: it comes in a small carton – use the entire carton even if it slightly exceeds 2 cups)
• Freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese (use only real Parmigiano-Reggiano, not the fake stuff often called “Parmesan” or “Grana Padano”)

(1) Rub the salt into the ground meat preferably 24 hours ahead of time, but you can also do this right before cooking.

(2) In a large heavy saucepan, melt the butter and oil over medium-low heat. When the butter has melted, add the chopped onion and a good pinch of salt and pepper. Saute the onion for 10 mins.

(3) Add the chopped carrots and celery, mix well with the onions. Cook for another 10 mins.

(4) Add the ground meat and stir to coat with the oil/butter/vegetable mixture. Cook until most of the pink is gone, about 5 min. Break up large clumps of meat.

(5) Add milk. Reduce the heat so that it’s not boiling. Simmer for 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Add nutmeg (optional).

(6) Add wine and simmer (as you did with the milk) for another 1 hour, stirring every 15 minutes. Make sure the heat is turned down low enough so this mixture is not over-boiling. It should be simmering.

(7) Carefully add the tomatoes, stirring them into the sauce. Reduce the heat to as low as you can go. Cook for 3 hours. Stir occasionally to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom. Make sure the sauce is not boiling too much. It should be only simmering.

(8) Serve the sauce over pasta (fresh pasta is best). Add grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese.

Note: If your butcher has run out of veal, you can simply use more beef or substitute the veal with pork.




Author of "The Secret of Angat", a novel set in the Philippines during World War II. Founder,; Founder ( - travel) and (beauty, style).

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