A plate of pasta bolognese with pappardelle pasta and parmesan cheese.

Bolognese Sauce {with Bacon and Wine}

  • Author: RebeccaBlackwell
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 1/2 hours
  • Yield: 6 servings


Meaty, rich, slow simmered bolognese sauce is one of the world’s all-time greatest comfort foods. Here’s how to make this classic favorite Italian sauce.


  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 lb bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 1 & 1/2 lbs ground chuck, 80% lean
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 medium red or yellow onion, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 3/4 cup coarsely carrots
  • 3/4 cup coarsely¬†celery
  • 6 ounces tomato paste
  • 2 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp oregano
  • 2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 cup dry red or white wine
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes, preferably fire roasted
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • About 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil or parsley, or a combination of both

For serving:

  • Pappardelle pasta (or fettuccini,¬†tagiatelle, or rigatoni). Plan on about 16 ounces (1 lb) for 4 servings.
  • 1 cup grated parmesan cheese


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottom saucepan or dutch oven over medium heat until warm. Add the bacon and cook over medium heat until the bacon fat has rendered and the bacon is beginning to crisp. Using a slotted spoon, remove the bacon from the saucepan, letting it drain on a paper towel lined plate.
  2. Add the ground chuck to the saucepan, sprinkle with 1 tsp of salt, and return it to medium heat. Cook, stirring frequently, until the beef is brown. Drain the beef in a colander set over a large bowl to catch the fat.
  3. While the bacon and ground beef are cooking, add the onion, celery, and carrots to the bowl of a food processor fitted with the chopping blade. Pulse until the vegetables are very finely chopped.
  4. Add 2-3 tbsp of the fat back into the saucepan and return it to medium heat. Add the vegetable mixture. Cook until the vegetables are soft, about 6-7 minutes. Add the tomato paste, garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper, 1 tsp salt, and 1 tsp ground black pepper to the pan and cook, stirring constantly, 2 minutes longer.
  5. Add the wine and turn the heat up to medium high. Cook, stirring frequently, until nearly all the wine has evaporated or been absorbed by the vegetables.
  6. Add the crushed tomatoes, broth, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, and sugar to the saucepan, stirring to combine. Add the ground beef and bacon back into the saucepan.
  7. Bring the sauce to a boil, then turn the heat down to a temperature low enough to maintain a very gentle simmer. Cook, stirring from time to time, until the meat is very tender and the sauce is nice and thick, about 1 & 1/2 to 2 hours. Towards the end of cooking, maintain a temperature low enough that bubbles break free from the sauce only here and there – a very gentle simmer.
  8. Taste and add more salt if desired. Stir in the fresh herbs right before serving.
  9. To cook the pasta: Bring a large saucepan of water to boil over high heat. Add 1 tbsp salt. If using dried pasta, cook according to the package instructions. If using fresh pappardelle, cook about 2 minutes. Drain and serve with the sauce and parmesan cheese.