Bolognese Sauce


  • ½ pound ground lamb
  • ½ pound ground beef
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion,
    finely minced
  • ¼ cup tomato sauce
  • 10 leaves of fresh sage
  • 4 cups of beef or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup of olive oil, ¼ for cooking
    and ¼ for finishing
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Freshly grated or ribbon sliced
    Parmigiano Reggiano to finish


Heat up a 3 quart pot on medium heat and add olive oil and all of your ground beef and lamb. Once all of the beef and lamb are browned, remove from the pot and add the onions, lowering the temperature to Low and sweat the onions for about 5 minutes.

Return all of the beef and lamb to the pot. Add tomato sauce and allow to cook on medium to low heat for 5-8 minutes, reducing the tomato sauce in order to concentrate the flavors. Don’t scorch the bottom of the pan, as the sugars in the tomato sauce can begin to caramelize quickly. If there is a crust on the bottom of the pan from all of the sautéing, you may add a little of your vegetable stock to prevent it from burning. Scrape the bits of caramelized meat, onions and tomato from the bottom of the pan.

Turn the heat back up to high and pour all of the vegetable stock into the pot and bring up to a boil. When boil is reached, turn the heat down to low. You may add the sage leaves. Partially cover the pot and allow the sauce to reduce until nearly all of the liquid had been evaporated. If one thinks of this dish as a slow braise, rather than a rapidly made sauce, the cooking time of 2 hours makes more sense, which is how long it will take on Low Heat to reduce all of the liquid.

Test for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste. When the taste is satisfactory and liquid has been almost completely reduced, turn off the burner and add the remaining olive oil to the pot.

Scoop a moderate portion of Bolognese Sauce over your Pappardelle (do not over sauce) into a warm bowl. Add a dusting or several ribbons of Parmigiano to the top of the pasta. Serve.

Photo: Courtesy of James Collier and Taste Fresno