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This is an authentic, thick, hearty, and meaty sauce that my grandfather use to make. It’s great with any pasta, but my favorite is pappardelle. My grandfather would make fresh pappardelle, and I thought it was the best pasta I’d ever had in my whole life. Of course, making your own pappardelle is a bit time-consuming, but you can purchase pappardelle pasta at the market. It’s almost as good as Nonno Gino’s, but not quite!

1 large white onion, quartered

1 small carrot, cut into four pieces

1 celery rib, cut into four pieces

¹/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 pound ground chuck

½ pound ground pork

2 teaspoons table salt

1 cup whole milk

¹/3 cup white wine

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 (28-ounce) can tomato puree

1 teaspoon sugar

1 ½ cups water plus additional as needed

1 pound pappardelle or your favorite pasta

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

½ cup fresh basil

Have all your ingredients ready to go.

In a food processor, pulse to chop the onion into small pieces. Set aside. Pulse to chop the carrot and celery into small pieces. Set aside.

Heat a saucepan on medium-high until hot. Add the olive oil and heat for 30 seconds. Add the onions, reduce heat to medium, and sauté for 2 minutes. Add the carrot and celery, and sauté for 2 minutes.

Add the ground chuck and ground pork, breaking up the meat as much as you can. Sprinkle on the salt and pour in the milk, continuing to break up the meat. Cook, reducing the milk until the meat starts to sizzle (about 10 to 15 minutes). Add the wine, and mix well. Continue to cook, reducing the wine by half. Reduce heat to a simmer and add tomato paste. Stir in completely and keep mixing for at least 30 seconds. Add the tomato puree, sugar, and water. Mix well. Cover and simmer on very low heat for 1 hour, stirring often. If you feel the sauce is getting too thick, add more water, ¼ cup at a time.

Cook the pasta according to package directions. Drain well. Pour into a large serving bowl, mix in the sauce, and sprinkle plenty of Parmesan cheese on top. Garnish with basil. Serve immediately.


Filed under: Pasta & Rice, Recipes

  • Shelley

    This is my all time favorite recipe. I think about how good it tastes even on days I am not making it for dinner. I plan to have an Italian night dinner party and this will be my featured dish. The best!!!!!

    • so is this supposed to read 3 cups of white wine? it has some other symbols so wasn’t sure of the measurement

      • Hi Patti, it is 1/3 cup white wine. Have a great day!

  • Doris

    Hey Cristina!
    Been making this recipe for Bolognese sauce for a while now but I use red wine instead of the white as we prefer this. Still, it is the best sauce ever!!! So glad to see you back on Home and Family show. I used to watch it way back when you hosted with Chuck Woolery and you have not changed one bit. Hope you stay on TV forever!

    • Doris, thanks for the nice words, I will try it with the red wine as well. Best Cristina

    • Thank you Doris, have a wonderful day!

  • Natalie LaPan

    I have been making this since you were on the Oprah show with the “Fonz”.

    In fact, I gave this recipe to for very soon to be son-in-law. I over-heard him telling the rest of the family about a year later….that he had a great recipe for bolognese——(he is a fantastic cook) I also heard that he made it up myself. I had to come home open the internet and then my email to prove him mistaken!!!

    It’s a standing joke now when I make this – we are making “Mark’s” bolognese.

    This is the very best recipe of them all.

    • Wow , thank you Natalie! I love stories like yours, the best memories are made in the kitchen and around the table. Have a wonderful week!

  • Josephine

    Hi Cristina!
    I love your recipes! My family does not eat any pork–will your bolognese sauce lack taste without the pork?

    • Thank you Jospehine, you can make the recipe with out pork, you can substitute the pork for turkey or if you would like to add more chuck. Have a wonderful day!