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Traditional Bolognese Meat Sauce

If you haven't savored real meat sauce, you're missing one of Italy's great treasures. The long, slow cooking of aromatic vegetables with beef, veal, and pork make this ragù memorable. Finished with a little light cream and a touch of butter, the sauce is smooth and silky. If you're feeling creative, add mushrooms, sausage meat, capers, olives…or whatever. Ladle over al dente pasta and sprinkle on freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano.


6 to 8
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup peeled chopped carrots
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • 6 ounces ground beef
  • 6 ounces ground pork
  • 6 ounces ground veal
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 1/2 ounces Demi-Glace Gold® or Demi-Glace de Veau Gold® dissolved in 1 1/2 cups hot water
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3-4 tablespoons half-and-half


  1. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter and the oil in a large, heavy  pan over medium heat. Sauté the onion, carrot, and celery in the butter/oil mixture until the vegetables are soft and lightly colored, 6 to 8 minutes, then stir in the garlic.
  2. Add the ground beef, pork, and veal, season with salt and pepper, and cook until the meat is lightly browned and separated into small pieces, breaking up the chunks with a wooden spoon.
  3. Pour in the wine, bring the mixture to a rapid simmer, and cook until the liquid almost evaporates.
  4. Stir in the diluted Demi-Glace Gold® (or Demi-Glace de Veau Gold®) and the tomato paste. Cover the pan, reduce the heat so the liquid gently simmers, and cook for about 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  5. Stir in the parsley and cream, simmer uncovered for 10 minutes to thicken the sauce slightly, then add the remaining tablespoon of butter. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper.

Additional Tips

Wine Pairing: Chianti or other Sangiovese, California Zinfandel

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