Bolognese sauce is a versatile and easy meat-sauce for any kind of pasta. This version is so flavourful, because I am using trio ground meat, and it’s all cooked in 30 minutes, so you don’t have to stay in the kitchen all day long.
Bolognese sauce is an Italian specialty
The real Bolognese sauce comes from town Bologna in Italy. This flavourful meat sauce is very similar to the classic Spaghetti sauce, but there is still a little difference. Spaghetti sauce is tomato-based meat sauce with lots of onion and garlic. For Bolognese sauce you will need more vegetables such as carrot and celery, plus you have to add a bit of milk. The milk is to add richness and smoothness to the sauce.
My version of bolognese uses all the classic ingredient with two minor details. I will use the root of celery instead of the stalk and I will add one extra vegetable, which will sweeten up even more this delicious sauce. And that is parsnip. It is an optional ingredient, so if you won’t be able to find it in your grocery store, not a big deal.
When we are at the tweaking classic recipe bolognese sauce, let’s add up also a bit of a bacon for the flavour. And my biggest secret of all, and I would put a hand into the fire for this one, the best is when made with gourmet trio ground meat.
Ingredients for Bolognese sauce
What is gourmet trio meat
- Slices of Bacon
Why am I using trio ground meat and extra bacon? Well everything tastes better with bacon, but you can of course leave it out from the recipe if you don’t have one on hand. And Gourmet Trio Ground Meat: is in my opinion the most flavourful, juicier and much more tasty, when combined together.
Trio hearty vegetables
- Celery root (you can use classic celery stalk)
- Parsnip root (optional)
These three mighty hearty vegetables are another favourite trio of mine. I love to use them in my meat sauce or in any kind of vegetable base meal, beef stews, soups or my famous recipe for national meal of the Czech Republic Roasted beef with creamy vegetable sauce & dumplings.
- Bay leaf
- Allspice (Jamaican pepper) optional
And last, but not least, my favourite trio choice of herbs is basil (you can use dry or fresh basil. Bay leaf always gives amazing flavour and allspice (some of you might know it under name as Jamaica pepper) has a great light smoky flavour. I was always puzzled, how this spice has travelled from Jamaica to Easter Europe… I guess Columbus must have played a big role in this!
Do you love easy dinner recipes like this one, then you have to check this collection of 75 Best Easy Dinner Ideas, that anyone can cook!
How to cook Bolognese sauce faster
The key for quick cooking of recipe bolognese sauce is small pieces of vegetables. If you cut all the vegetables on tiny pieces or cubes, the cooking time will be reduced by half. My preferred way is to cut the vegetables on smaller cubes of half of an inch minimum. But if you can cut them even smaller. But don’t go to Julien style cutting vegetables, because they would become mushy.
Diced, fresh, strained tomatoes ?
An easy question for me; I usually use strained tomatoes or tomato sauce. It’s the only version accepted by my kids at this moment. My son doesn’t like tomato skin, nor the seeds of tomatoes, so this is the main reason. On the other hand, fresh tomatoes or diced tomatoes gives nice texture to the sauce bolognese. So if you don’t have any “kids” restrictions, as I have, go with fresh or diced tomatoes.
You can also use concentrated tomato purée, add more water to dilute, so you do not end up with bolognese paste, instead of bolognese sauce.
The cooking time is really reduced to minimum in this recipe. If I don’t count the prepping vegetables, cooking time would come to max. of 30 minutes. So, on the weeknights, it’s a winner in my kitchen. When I decide to prepare bolognese sauce during the weekend, I make sure to make a double batch and freeze it. When the cravings for recipe bolognese sauce and spaghetti comes, it’s a perfect freezer treasure.
How to make Bolognese Sauce
Prepare all the vegetables in advance. You can also prep the veggies and freeze them for up to 6 months (including onions and garlic). Cut the vegetables in small cubes. Chop finely the onion and mince the garlic.
Cut the bacon on small pieces. In a large skillet, over the medium high heat, sauté bacon for 2 minutes. Then add olive oil and sauté onion, garlic and the rest of the vegetables for 2-3 minutes.
Season with salt & pepper and add remaining seasoning: dry paprika, bay leaf, allspice. Make a space on the skillet and add ground meats. Cook the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and stir occasionally until the meat has browned. Stir in the strained tomatoes or tomato sauce and add the broth (or water). Mix the ground meat with the vegetables.
Cover with lid and let simmer over medium-low heat for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more salt or pepper, if needed. At the end add 1 cup of milk, stir well. If you like more profound taste of bolognese sauce add 3 tbsp of tomato paste. Stir and let simmer for another 5 minutes.
Toppings like Parmesan cheese or provolone cheese adds delicious finish to bolognese sauce.
Storing & Tips
You can store leftovers in the refrigerator and consume within 4 days. You may also freeze the sauce in the freezer for up to 3 months.
To store the sauce, always use an airtight container and make sure it’s closed with a secure lid. You don’t want to tip over tomato sauce in the refrigerator.
To freeze the sauce, leave a little space in between the lid and the container. The sauce will expand when frozen. The best way to freeze this sauce, is in Ziploc bags. It takes less space, and you can fit the Ziploc bag into awkward shape to fit in the freezer.
To reheat the sauce, defrost either in the refrigerator for 24 hours or place it in the microwave and heat on full power, checking every 30 seconds and stirring, until it’s hot and ready to serve.
Very important !! Make double portion to freeze it for later use!
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THE BEST SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE SAUCE
- 2-4 tbsp olive oil
- 2 slices of bacon cut into small pieces (optional)
- 1 medium onion finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½ medium root celery cut in small cubes
- 2 medium carrots cut in small cubes
- 1 medium parsnip cut in small cubes
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp dry paprika powder
- 1 tsp dry basil
- 2 lb trio ground meet beef, pork, veal
- 1 tbsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- 3 cups tomato sauce or diced tomatoes
- 1 cups chicken broth or water
- 1 cup whole milk
- 3 tbsp of tomato paste
- 4 balls allspice optional
- Spaghetti or another pasta
- Parmesan or provolone cheese
- Clean and cut the vegetables (carrot, celery root and parsnip) in small cubes. Chop finely the onion and mince the garlic. Set aside.
- Cut the slices of bacon on small cubes. In a large skillet, over the medium high heat, sauté the bacon cubes for 2 minutes. Add 2 tbsp of olive oil and sauté onion and garlic for 2 minutes. Then add the vegetables and sauté for 2-3 minutes.
- Add seasoning: dry paprika, bay leaf, allspice and stir. Make a space on the skillet and add ground meats. Season the meats with salt and pepper. Cook the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and stir occasionally until the meat has browned.
- Stir in the strained tomatoes or tomato sauce and add the broth (or water). Mix well the ground meat with the vegetables and the tomato sauce.
- Cover the skillet with the lid and simmer on medium-low heat for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
- At the end add 1 cup of milk and stir well. Season with more salt and pepper if needed. If you like more profound taste of tomato sauce, add 3 tbsp of tomato paste. Stir and let simmer for another 5 minutes. Serve with spaghetti or other pasta.
Toppings & garnish
- As a topping use Parmesan cheese or provolone cheese. They add delicious taste to bolognese sauce. You may also garnish with parsley.
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