Traditional Bolognese

Making a Traditional Italian Bolognese

Making a Traditional Italian bolognese. With a traditional Italian mirepoix base and mix meats, it’s a must-try.

Me and Tom really do love Italy. My first ever trip was one he surprised me with, I don’t even think it was for a special occasion. He just saved when he was 20/21 years old, working a bar job and took me away to a beautiful little place in Sorrento. I still hold this hotel so dear to me, more so because of the thought he put into it. We were hoping to go back to Italy at some point this year but unfortunately, 2020 had other ideas! Sorrento isn’t the home of bolognese, I’m pretty sure that’s Bologna.

What is a Mirepoix base?

Sounds fancy doesn’t it? So this is a mixture of chopped carrots, celery and onion and this is how a lot of dishes are started. The name Mirepoix is clearly french, it was named after a French aristocrat, the Duke Charles-Pierre-Gaston François de Lévis, duc de Lévis-Mirepoix. He has been credited with coming up with this base of french cooking back in the 18th century.

Oh, Sorrento…

Sorrento is actually the home of cannelloni. We ate at the place that actually “invented” cannelloni. It was delicious, but these experiences started our love affair with Italy. Staying in a beautiful little bed and breakfast just outside of the town was fantastic. I loved the short walk into Sorrento we did daily. Since then we’ve only visited Rome, which was for our wedding anniversary and we went to Milan for my 30th birthday, but I’m pretty sure it was in Rome we tried a delicious bolognese! I am really wanting to go and stay in Positano, I’d love to visit Florence and Tuscany and also go back to stay in Sorrento.


I’ve read so many ways to make a bolognese but traditionally, this is how! You use half pork and half beef. Yep I know, I thought that was odd too, but… it’s delicious. The pork in bolognese is mainly used for the extra fat and flavour and the beef is more so for the texture. Honestly, I don’t think I will ever, just use beef again! Also, this did take a while but it’s really worth the wait! And it doesn’t taste too far off what us Brits would call “bolognese” it’s just loads better!!

Got Milk…

Yep I know! Putting milk into a bolognese seems weird right! Well let me tell you, it just makes it so much better! It tenderizes the meat and this will also make your sauce slightly creamier without adding any cream what so ever. I first learned of this during a nail appointment. I know, not what you expected right! Well, whilst I was doing a clients nails, ITV was playing in the background with Gino on. One of the things he really stressed was cooking meat with milk, as it makes it juicy and tender. I have used this way ever since.

Obviously, you can add pasta with this instead of courgette but we were having a healthy day. So let’s get to it, here’s how we make a traditional bolognese…

Yield: 3

Traditional Bolognese

Traditional Bolognese
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes


  • 200g pork mince
  • 200g beef mince
  • 2 small carrots
  • 2 small celery sticks
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 300ml passata
  • 50ml red wine
  • 50ml full-fat milk
  • 400ml beef stock
  • 1 clove garlic


  1. Heat up 1 table spoon of oil in a pan on a low heat.
  2. Chop up your onion and put that into the pan, leave that to sweat for 5 minutes whilst you chop your celery and carrot. Make sure you chop these finely.
  3. Add those in with your onion, turn up the heat slightly and add another dash of olive oil. Cook for 5 minutes.
  4. Add in your beef and pork mince and crumble with a wooden spoon or spatula. Crumble and stir for a couple of minutes.
  5. Add in your wine, stir and let this simmer for a minute to let the alcohol evaporate.
  6. Pour in your milk, stir for another minute then pour in 200ml of stock.
  7. Put in the tomato purée and give everything a really good mix together. Add in your passata.
  8. Once this is done, put your pan on a very small ring on the hob and let it simmer with the lid on for an hour. Stir every 15 minutes. Add another 100ml of stock throughout the hour.
  9. Remove the lid after the hour, add your final 100ml of stock and leave this to simmer. Stirring every 15 minutes. If it’s too thick just add a dash of water throughout.
  10. At this point add in the garlic, now this isn’t necessary but I like a garlicky bolognese.
  11. Once it’s had around 2 hours turn off and cook up your pasta. You don’t want the bolognese piping hot to serve.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 454Total Fat: 26gSaturated Fat: 10gTrans Fat: 1gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 431mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 2gSugar: 4gProtein: 40g

Thanks for reading ‘Making a Traditional Italian Bolognese’ if you fancy something even healthier than this recipe, head over to this bolognese recipe. There are a few recipes below which you may like.

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