Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • Yield:

    1 quart

Appears in


By James Peterson

Published 1991

  • About

Although recipes for this famous Bolognese sauce vary, they all begin with the preparation of a flavor base with ground beef (or sometimes leftover cubes of cooked beef) and mirepoix vegetables. This recipe is slightly different from the classic one in that the flavor base is first cooked with the liquid released by the tomatoes; the pulp is added later. This recipe calls for ground beef, but the sauce will have more texture and an appealing hand-hewn quality if the meat is cut by hand into ¼-inch (5 mm) cubes.


onion, finely chopped 1 medium 1 medium
carrot, chopped 1 small 1 small
prosciutto, chopped 2 oz 50 g
extra-virgin olive oil 3 tbsp 45 ml
lean chopped or ground beef 12 oz 350 g
large bouquet garni, with a few sprigs marjoram 1 1
raw tomato concassée, liquid drained and reserved 3 cups 750 ml
heavy cream ¼ cup 60 ml
salt and pepper to taste to taste


  1. Gently sweat the onion, carrot, and prosciutto in the olive oil until the vegetables soften. Add the beef and stir the mixture until the juices released by the meat evaporate and only fat is left. Do not cook beyond this stage.
  2. Add the bouquet garni and the liquid from the tomato concassée and simmer the mixture for about 30 minutes, until the liquid evaporates and again only fat is visible.
  3. Add the tomato pulp and continue simmering the sauce until it has the right thickness. This should not take longer than 15 minutes.
  4. Add the cream and cook for 2 minutes more.
  5. Season with salt and pepper. If the sauce seems to lack flavor, follow the recommendations for using sugar and vinegar (see “Improving the Flavor of Tomato Sauces,”.