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  • Writer's pictureAlison Golding

Nonna's Bolognese

Updated: Apr 14, 2021

Through most of my adult life, I have been trying to replicate my Nonna's Bolognese sauce and this recipe is the closest approximation that I have been able to find. I make it in a large batch and then freeze it in smaller containers, adding a bit of pasta water before adding the sauce to the pasta. With this recipe, a little sauce goes a long way!


2 pounds lean ground beef

1 pound of ground pork

100 grams pancetta

Small onion

2 tbsp olive oil

2 carrots

2 stalks celery

1 large can of tomato paste (or 2 small cans)

1 can crushed tomato

White wine

Beef stock

1 tbsp rosemary

Parmesan rind


  • Grind the pancetta in a food processor until is almost a paste

  • Add in the carrots, onion and celery with the pancetta until it’s really small pieces

  • Cook above ingredients with lots of olive oil for about 15 minutes (a fond should start to form on the bottom of the pot).

  • Add the ground beef and pork and cook until all the water evaporates and there’s just oil left in the pot.

  • Add tomato paste and cook until there’s a dark fond on the bottom on the pot.

  • Add white wine (approximately 1/3 of a bottle) and cook until it’s almost gone.

  • Add a small amount of canned crushed tomato (I usually use about ½-1 c).

  • Chop rosemary or crush with a mortar and pestle (I prefer the mortar and pestle) and add to the pot.

  • Add parmesan rind.

  • Simmer for 1 ½ -2 hours over low heat, stirring and adding beef stock as required as it cooks down.

  • Remove parmesan rind prior to serving.

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