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True Bolognese

True Bolognese

My entire family looks forward to the days when I prepare this simple, comforting dish.

  • Yield: 5 cups meat sauce, 4 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 ounces pancetta, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups small-diced onion
  • 3/4 cup small-diced carrot
  • 3/4 cup small-diced celery
  • 3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 pound ground sirloin
  • 1/2 pound ground veal
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1 1/2 cups beef stock or canned low- sodium beef broth
  • 1 cup half-and-half
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • 1 pound dried pasta, such as tagliatelle or pappardelle, cooked until al dente, for serving
  • Grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese, for garnish


  • In a medium Dutch oven, heat the oil over medium- high heat and cook the pancetta until it is crisp and the fat is rendered, 6 to 8 minutes. Add the onion, carrot, celery, pepper, and 1 teaspoon of the salt and cook until the vegetables are lightly caramelized, stirring occasionally, 4 to 6 minutes. Increase the heat and stir in the sirloin and veal. Cook, stirring and breaking the meat into small pieces, until the meat is well browned, about 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes. Stir in the wine and garlic and cook until the wine is nearly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add the stock and reduce the heat to low. Cook, partially covered, until the liquid is almost completely evaporated, about 10 minutes.
  • Add 1/2 cup of the half- and- half and continue cooking for 30 to 40 minutes, adding the remaining half- and- half little by little as the sauce reduces. The sauce should be very thick and rich. Season with the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and additional black pepper to taste; you may not need any more seasoning, depending on the stock that you used. Stir in the parsley.
  • Serve the sauce tossed with cooked pasta and garnish with grated cheese.