This Homemade Bolognese Sauce is a delicious recipe to add to your weeknight rotation. You might think that "Bolognese" would be a hard, time consuming sauce to make, but it couldn't be easier!
This is a really simple sauce to make. My grandmother used to make this sauce all the time for our Sunday dinners. It was a favorite of the whole family! If you have an Italian grandmother, I'm sure she has some version of this recipe.
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What's in the sauce?
Soffritto- Soffritto is just a fancy way of saying onions, carrots, and celery. These three ingredients are the foundation of many Italian sauces and soups. For this recipe, I put each ingredient in the food processor and chopped it until it was really fine. You can also grate everything on a box grater, but that takes quite a bit more time. If you have a food processor, definitely use it. I recommend this one if you need one! Feel free to add extra veggies too, just add them to the food processor. Zucchini, mushrooms, even peppers would be a great addition to add some extra nutrition to this sauce.
Ground Beef- This recipe is based on one pound of beef. Feel free to double or even triple this recipe! I used 80/20 for this recipe. You can use 93/7 if you would prefer and that would be great in this recipe as well!
Canned Tomatoes- You can use your favorite jarred tomato sauce in this recipe, or you can use a canned tomato. I prefer crushed tomatoes because it adds a nice texture to the sauce. Use the big tomato cans, 28 ounces per one pound of meat.
Butter- You might think "why in the heck would I add butter to a tomato based sauce?" Well I'm here to tell you it adds so much to the sauce because it makes the texture velvety and decadent. The butter is the finishing touch on this delicious sauce!
Fresh Herbs- Finish the sauce with fresh herbs. I'd suggest basil or parsley. Chop it up right before you are going to serve the sauce and sprinkle the herbs over the sauce. The herbs shouldn't be cooked in the sauce, just used as a garnish.
How to Make this Sauce
You start with a "soffritto" which is just onion, celery, and carrot. Cook that all together in olive oil in a Dutch oven or a large pot until all of the vegetables are soft. Once they are soft, add in the ground beef and cook the beef until brown. Once brown, add a can of crushed tomatoes. Add 2 tablespoons of butter and melt that into the sauce. Let that cook on medium for at least an hour. You'll need to stir it every once in a while to make sure it doesn't burn. You can eat the sauce after about an hour, but the longer you let it simmer the richer and thicker the sauce will be.
Traditionally, you would eat this with a thick cut pasta, such as pappardelle or fettucine. Honestly, I would eat it with any type of pasta I had on hand, or even with zoodles if you would like! I've used it as a pizza sauce, and I'm not ashamed to admit that!
How to Store this Sauce
This recipe is so easy to double or triple. I usually buy a big package of ground beef and make a big pot of this sauce. It freezes in a Tupperware perfectly for a 2-3 months. Make sure to label the Tupperware so you know how long it's been in the freezer. It's also really important to make sure the sauce is cooled down before you put it in the freezer. If the sauce is too hot it could bring down the temperature of the freezer and that won't be good for everything else in the freezer. You can also keep it in the refrigerator for about a week, if you can even keep it that long!
Homemade Bolognese Sauce
- 3 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 Onion Medium
- 2 Carrots Large
- 2 Celery Stalks
- 1 lb Ground Beef 80/20
- 1 can Crushed Tomatoes 28 ounces
- 2 tbsp Butter
- Fresh Herbs as a garnish Basil or Parsley for example
- Cut the carrots, onion, and celery into inch long pieces and put them in a food processor. Process them until they are chopped and all the same size.
- In a Dutch oven or large pot, add the olive oil and heat on medium. Add all of the vegetables and cook that until the vegetables are soft, this should take about 10 minutes.
- Add the ground beef and continue to cook that until all the ground beef is browned, about 15 minutes. Continue to stir so the ground beef does not stick to the pot.
- Add the can of tomatoes and stir to combine all of the ingredients. Add the butter and stir.
- Let the sauce simmer for at least 30 minutes. Stir the sauce throughout the cooking process so it does not burn.
- Add salt and pepper to taste. Finish with the chopped basil and serve over pasta, zoodles, or as a pizza sauce.