Pasta Bolognese


Grace Parisi's Bolognese features a traditional combination of ground beef, pork, veal, and tomato enriched by porky pancetta. It's tossed with penne rigate and finished with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Prep Time:
30 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 30 mins
8 to 10 servings


  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided

  • 1 medium onion, finely diced

  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced

  • 1 medium celery rib, finely diced

  • 2 ounces pancetta, thickly sliced, finely diced

  • ½ pound ground beef

  • ½ pound ground veal

  • ¼ pound ground pork

  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped

  • ¾ cup dry white wine

  • 1 (28-ounce) can peeled Italian tomatoes, seeded and finely chopped, juices reserved

  • 1 cup chicken stock or canned low-sodium broth

  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme

  • 1 bay leaf

  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

  • ¼ cup heavy cream

  • 2 pounds penne rigate

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving


  1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large, heavy saucepan until shimmering. Add the onion, carrot, celery, and pancetta and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables are softened but not browned, about 8 minutes. Scrape the vegetable mixture into a large bowl.

  2. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil to the saucepan and heat until just shimmering. Add the beef, veal, and pork and cook over moderately high heat until just barely pink, about 5 minutes.

  3. Return the vegetable mixture to the saucepan. Add the garlic and cook over high heat until fragrant, about 1 minute.

  4. Add the wine and cook, stirring occasionally, until almost evaporated, about 8 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and their juices, the chicken stock, thyme, and bay leaf. Season with a generous pinch of salt and pepper and bring to a boil over high heat.

  5. Cover partially and cook over moderately low heat for 1 hour. Discard the bay leaf. Stir in the heavy cream and cook the sauce just until heated through.

  6. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the pasta until al dente.

  7. Drain well, return to the pot, add the sauce, and toss.

  8. Serve the pasta in deep bowls and pass the Parmesan at the table.

    Pasta Bolognese
    Photo by Jennifer Causey / Food Styling by Emily Nabors Hall / Prop Styling by Claire Spollen

Make Ahead

The sauce can be refrigerated for up to 3 days and frozen up to 1 month.

Suggested Pairing

A Barbera from Italy or California has enough weight and flavor to stand up to the rich meat sauce and enough acidity to balance the tomatoes.

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