Sugo all Bolognese (Bolognese Sauce)

Anna Theresa Callen

Adapted from Menus for Pasta (Crown Publishers, 1985)

This classic sauce goes well over fresh spaghetti or tagliatelle. Although bolognese is sometimes thought of as a tomato sauce, traditional recipes like this one actually call for very little tomato.


  • 1 slice prosciutto, 1/4 inch thick, cubed
  • Leaves of one parsley sprig
  • 1 medium onion, quartered
  • 1 celery rib, quartered
  • 1 medium carrot, quartered
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 pound mixture of ground beef, veal, and pork
  • 1 fresh sage leaf or 1/4 teaspoon dried sage
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 cup dry wine
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken or beef broth
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream


In a food processor or blender, combine the prosciutto, parsley, onion, celery, and carrot. Process until the mixture is the consistency of cream.

In a large saucepan, combine the oil and butter over moderate heat. Add the vegetable mixture and cook, stirring, until slightly browned. Stir in the meat and sage. Cook, stirring frequently, until quite brown. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Add the wine and cook until it evaporates. Blend the tomato paste with the broth and stir it into the sauce. Cover and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 1 hour. Remove from the heat and add the cream.


4 servings