Alex's book of recipes

Bolognaise sauce

Classic slow-cooked Italian sauce with tomato and ground beef.


1 onion, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

115g mild pancetta, finely chopped

30g mortadella, finely chopped

30g butter

450g medium lean ground beef

225g lean ground veal

225g lean ground pork

½ cup red wine

⅓ cup tomato paste

2 cups chicken broth

2 bay leaves

2 tsp chopped fresh herbs (sage, marjoram or thyme)

1 pinch red pepper flakes

½ cup milk

Salt and pepper


In a large saucepan over high heat, soften the vegetables in the butter for 5m. Season with salt and pepper. Add the pancetta, mortadella and ground meats. Cook the meat, breaking it up with a wooden spoon, and stir occasionally until the cooking juices have evaporated and the meat has browned.

Deglaze with the wine and reduce until almost dry. Stir in the tomato paste and cook for 1m. Add the broth, bay leaves, herbs and pepper flakes. Cover and let simmer over medium-low heat for 1h, stirring occasionally.

Add the milk. Continue cooking, uncovered, for 30m, stirring occasionally.

Adjust the seasoning.


You really want to finely chop the cured meats and vegetables. An easy way to do this is to use a food processor (process meat and vegetables separately).

Don't omit the red wine.

Traditionally, serve with egg noodles and grated Parmesan.