A Very Meaty Bolognese

An attempt at bringing a Brooklyn Bolognese to Fairfield County home cooking.

Sometimes in the middle of winter, I really miss my Brooklyn.  Not merely because my commute was a lot shorter and my social life a lot more active when I lived there, but because you could get a really good Bolognese sauce at a number of different restaurants, all of which delivered!  This Very Meaty Bolognese sauce is my shot at channeling my Brooklyn dining experience that cannot be delivered to your doorstep in Fairfield County and thus must be made at home.

This recipe is close to your typical Bolognese sauce that hails from Bologna, Italy in the sense that it contains browned veggies and meats, namely ground veal and ground beef, and is then added to tomato paste, sauce and wine with fresh herbs and a touch of cream or milk.  Most of the traditional recipes include pancetta.  This one does not, but adds in some ground pork.  I did amp up the meat factor more than most of the traditional recipes because my family likes to go heavy on the meat and light on the pasta.

Also, some Bolognese sauce recipes call for simmering all day long or at least a few hours.  This one can be served earlier than that, although extra simmering can’t hurt.  I actually increased the simmer time just a bit more than what I did the other night because I felt it would have been better if it had simmered longer than the 15 minutes I gave it because I had hungry children that needed dinner.  If you’ve got the time, let it simmer!

Finally, most of the traditional sauces are served with fresh pasta and mixed with a little reserved pasta water.  I leave it up to you as to how you want to serve this sauce.  It is excellent the traditional way, but it can also be served over fresh roasted vegetables or quinoa pasta.

Very Meaty Bolognese Sauce

Author: Julie du Pont

Recipe type: Main

Prep time:  10 mins

Cook time:  50 mins

Total time:  1 hour

Serves: 8 


  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 1 carrot stick, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stick, finely chopped
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • ½ lb ground veal
  • ½ lb ground pork
  • ½ lb ground
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 28 oz can of crushed tomatoes
  • ½ cup red wine
  • ¼ cup fresh basil chopped
  • 3 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup half and half


  1. Add olive oil to large dutch oven and heat until smoking.
  2. Add carrots, celery, onion and garlic and saute until softened and golden, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add in ground veal, pork and beef and saute until browned and cooked through, about 8 minutes.
  4. Add tomato paste and stir until evenly distributed.
  5. Add crushed tomatoes, wine, basil, thyme and bay leaf and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and let simmer for 30 minutes.
  6. Add half and half and stir until combined and let simmer for 10 minutes more.
  7. Serve over pasta, quinoa pasta or roasted vegetables.


Julie du Pont is a Darien resident, mom and lawyer.  She blogs about food and entertaining at weekend table.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.


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