How to Make The Best: Mama Mia! Classic Bolognese with Beef, Pork & Veal

This is one of those sauces that once you master it, you will be able to make it in your sleep. I promise you- friends will ask for the recipe.

I have been a fan of Canadian born- Italian Chef, David Rocco for years. His beautifully photographed cooking show- Dolce Vita, filmed in Florence showcases the simplicity of Italian food- Keep it local, keep it fresh, keep it simple. It will always be delicious. This Bolognese sauce is based off his interpretation of this staple of Italian family meals.

I love you and I made you this platter of pasta and meat sauce.

I watched him years and years ago make an incredible bolognese and I have played around with the recipe and made it my own. I posted this on my Instagram last March at the height of Quarantine and the chef himself gave me a little love in the comments. That was a good day.

The most important part of the recipe is the Sofrito– or carrots, celery and garlic and onions. Sauté them well until soft. Do not rush this step in the cooking. This is a sauce that takes time to develop. Sip a glass of wine while cooking- enjoy the process.

Every year when all of my children are gathered for Christmas for the first special night we are all together, I make this dish with a huge platter of thin spaghetti. We serve it with a crisp green salad and baskets of crusty warm bread.

I think it is the best pasta sauce for a big crowd or family gathering. The smells of tomato, herbs and pungent garlic wafting through your house just say, “I love you- wlecome home”.


Buon Appetito!

The base of my Sofrito- carrots & celery in Bolognese- yes.

bolognese Sauce- serves 8

  • La salsa di 5 Minuti:
  • 3-4 TBSP olive oil

  • 1 onion , finely chopped

  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped

  • 1/2 rsp red pepper flakes

  • 1- 28 oz can plum tomatoes

  • 1 tsp kosher salt

  • Fresh Basil

  • Sauce:
  • 2 TBSP unsalted butter

  • 2 TBSP olive oil

  • 1 large carrot, finely chopped

  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped

  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tsp fennel seeds

  • 1 heaping tsp red pepper flakes

  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
    3 TBSP fresh Italian Parsley

  • 2 sprigs, fresh rosemary, chopped fine

  • 1/2 lb ground extra lean beef

  • 1/2 lb ground pork or sausage

  • 1/2 lb ground veal (optional)

  • 1 cup white wine

  • 1 15 oz can pureed tomatoes

  • La Salsa di 5 minuti

  • Basil or rosemary sprigs

  • Balsamic vinegar

  • Parmigiano Reggiano – grated

  • Cooked pasta

My spice & herb profile: red pepper flakes, rosemary, Italian parsley, garlic, pepper, fennel seeds, basil, dried orgeano and salt

Salsa di 5 minuti- five minute sauce

  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan. Add onions and sauté on low heat until translucent- about 6-7 minutes. Stir in garlic and red pepper flakes. Add in tomatoes and season with salt and pepper to taste. Simmer for 10 minutes. Cover. Keep warm while you make the rest of the sauce in another saucepan.
Sauté up the vegetables until very soft.


  • In a large dutch oven or large saucepan, melt the olive oil and butter. Stir in the carrot and celery cooking over medium low heat for 6-7 minutes until softened. Add in garlic, cook another 2-3 minutes on low. Add in the fennel seeds, red pepper flakes, oregano, parsley and rosemary. Cook until fragrant.
  • Increase heat to medium high. Add in the beef, pork and veal. Cook until well browned.
    Pat away any excess fat with a paper towel.
    Stir in white wine to deglaze the pot and loosen the delicious brown bits from the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon. Let wine reduce for 2-3 minutes at a simmer.
  • Add in canned pureed tomatoes. Stir in La Salsa Di 5 Minuti and simmer on low for 1 hour. Season with lots of salt & pepper.
  • Finish with a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, fresh basil leaves and the grated Parmigiano- Reggiano. Serve over hot cooked pasta.
A glass of white wine slipped into the sauce really perks it up. Add rosemary sprigs and simmer until time to serve.
Smell your screen here-
A huge platter of steaming pasta & sauce- best thing ever.

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One Comment

  1. Elizabeth says:

    The most amazing bolognese ever! Such a great comfort food and perfect for a family or large group (or plenty of leftovers).