Bolognese sauce is a simple pasta sauce that’s easy to prepare and can be made ahead of time, making it an ideal mid week dinner dish for busy families.
Bolognese sauce is such a simple pasta sauce, and one of those dishes that many of us make regularly. Generally speaking it’s one of those easy dinner dishes that the whole family will eat. A meat sauce with some fresh cooked pasta, shave over some parmesan and voila! A family dinner that everyone enjoys without complaint.
This is the best version of bolognese sauce that I’ve ever made. In fact it’s not really my recipe at all, but my husband’s. My husband is not the most confident cook, he doesn’t cook that often. However what we as a family all agree upon is that he makes the best bolognese sauce. Yes, better than mine!
First up, he recommends using equal portions of both beef and pork mince. This combination makes a huge difference flavour-wise. We’ve tried using beef on it’s own, but it doesn’t have the same depth of flavour as you do when combining beef and pork. As with all dishes, the quality of the produce you cook with makes a huge difference to the finished dish. We buy our mince from Donald Russell as Michelle has always raved about their mince and now I know why. In fact on the odd occasion when I’ve run out and don’t use their mince, my family will ask “who’s beef is this, it’s not so good” as they can taste the difference.
Take your time when browning the mince, don’t be tempted to rush this stage. Place the mince into the pan in batches and brown thoroughly, before removing to the side and starting on the next batch. By browning the meat this way you will impart more flavour into the sauce. Furthermore as with all meat sauces, this bolognese does benefit from being made a day in advance. By allowing the sauce to sit you will impart more flavour into the sauce.
What other ways can I serve this sauce?
We have served this sauce with spaghetti, however it works well with all pasta. For something a little different is also works really well with some gnocchi. The bolognese also works works really well in an oven baked lasagne dish. Simply layer the sauce between lasagne sheets, alternating with a thick bechamel sauce, cover with grated cheese and bake in the oven.
Can I freeze the sauce?
This sauce freezes really well and for that reason I tend to double the recipe up, allowing me to freeze some for a quick midweek dinner, or to make the lasagne suggested above.
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Alternative recipe suggestions:
If you like this recipe then why not try our Sticky Sausage Traybake, our Pork & Peanut Stir-fry, our Smoked Chilli Beef, our Lemon & Paprika Chicken Kebabs or our Cajun Chicken & Roasted Vegetables, all great family favourite meals.
Looking for inspiration for feeding the family mid week, then take a look at our Ultimate Guide to Family Dinners. Full of useful hints, tips and recipes.
- 450 g beef steak mince
- 450 g pork mince
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 85 g smoked pancetta - cubed
- 2 medium onions - diced
- 3 sticks celery - diced
- 3 medium carrots - diced
- 4 cloves garlic - crushed
- 250 ml white wine
- 500 ml passatta
- 1 Knorr rich beef stockpot
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 2 bay leaf
- 1 tsp ground black pepper
- Heat a large saucepan to a medium high heat. Add the steak mince and break up with a wooden spoon. Take care to brown it thoroughly as this is what gives the sauce a really meaty flavour. Remove the mince to a bowl.
- Next add the pork mince to the saucepan and repeat the process, again ensuring you brown the meat really well. Remove the mince from the pan and add to the bowl along with the steak mince.
- Now add the olive oil to the saucepan and fry the smoked pancetta until it is completely cooked and the fat rendered down, it will look a little crispy. Taking time at this stage to brown all the meat will ensure a better tasting sauce.
- Add the onion, celery and carrots to the saucepan and continue to saute over a medium heat for around 5 minutes. During this process place the lid over the saucepan as this will help soften the vegetables and also remove any crispy bits from browning the meat. After all this is full of flavour and you want it in the sauce.
- Now add the garlic to the pan and saute for a further minute.
- Pour the passatta into the saucepan. Pour the wine into the passatta box, give it a swirl and this will remove any tomato juice left there. Add this to the saucepan.
- Add the beef stock pot, oregano, bay leaves, black pepper and a little salt to taste (take care with the salt as the smoked pancetta is salty). Stir thoroughly to combine.
- Simmer gently on a low heat with the lid on for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally to avoid sticking. Check seasoning before serving with the pasta of your choice.