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Bolognese Sauce

Bolognese Sauce

We don’t eat a lot of meat, but we love bolognese sauce – it’s a treat.    For years I’ve tried to replicate the sauce from Piemonte Pasta on Grand Street in Little Italy (so good!).  This is definitely not the same, but it’s pretty darned tasty.

I make mine with ground turkey and pork (and pancetta!).  It simmers for quite a while but the method is simple, the meal is delicious and it freezes well – a great meal in a hurry when you’re hungry and the pantry is bare.  If you have some time this weekend, put a pot on the stove, enjoy a meal and freeze the rest for later.

How Nutritious is Bolognese?

  • Good source of protein.
  • Tomatoes provide lycopene.

Remember that it’s short on fiber and phytonutrients so be sure to add a big dark green salad filled with chopped veggies and vinaigrette to increase the nutritional value (and keep you from eating too much pasta!)

Ingredients for Bolognese

  • 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 ounces pancetta, chopped fine
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1-2 carrots, finely diced
  • 1-2 celery stalks, finely diced
  • 1 pound each ground turkey and ground pork
  • 4 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 cups hearty red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock, homemade or low sodium canned
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) crushed tomatoes
  • Parmesan cheese rind
  • 1 handful chopped fresh basil and 1-2 teaspoons fresh thyme (1 teaspoon dried)

Method for Bolognese

  • Assemble ingredients


  • Heat a large heavy bottomed pot to medium high heat.  Add 1-2 tablespoons olive oil and the pancetta.  Cook for 2-3 minutes until pancetta begins to brown a little.


  • Add chopped onion, celery and carrot and cook for 4-5 minutes until the vegetables begin to soften.


  • Add the ground turkey and pork and cook for 10-15 minutes until meat is cooked through.  Stir often to prevent sticking to the pot and to break up the meat.


  • Add minced garlic and thyme and stir, cook 2-3 minutes until aromas release.


  • Add wine and simmer 10-15 minutes, uncovered, until liquid is reduced by 1/2.

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  • Stir in milk, chicken stock, cheese rind and tomatoes.  Season with salt & pepper (I use about 2 teaspoons salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper, but taste to determine what you prefer).

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  • Return to simmer, cover, lower heat and cook gently for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.


  • Add chopped fresh basil, adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Cook pasta and serve with bolognese = Good Stuff!

Buon Appetito!





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