How do you make bolognese taste better?

In this article, we will answer the following question: How do you make bolognese taste better? We will tell you our recipe and “secrets” for making bolognese sauce taste delicious.

How do you make bolognese taste better?

To make bolognese sauce taste better, you have to start with choosing the right ingredients. A good bolognese requires careful shopping. So let’s start with the choice of ingredients: which meat to buy for Bolognese sauce? 

The meat sauce must not be too lean but have a fat component that allows it to withstand the long cooking. Better to grind it at the moment with care: if it will be used to season the pasta, we ask you to grind it only once so that the sauce has a coarser grain, if instead, we will use the sauce for lasagna we ask to grind it twice. 

Let’s talk about the tomato: pureed or peeled? The Bolognese sauce should not be too red, so the amount of tomato must always be less than that of the meat. For half a kilo of ground beef, I use a 350 ml jar of homemade tomato sauce. I prepare the sauce in the summer with pear tomatoes, the sweetest, and before pouring it into the filter in a tightly meshed colander so that it is well concentrated. 

When preparing the sauce at home, you should avoid acidic varieties of tomatoes, such as cherry tomatoes, or those that are too watery, such as round salads. If, on the other hand, you take the ready-made puree, it is preferable to use a rustic, more full-bodied one. I don’t use concentrate, but it can be added if you want a more red sauce.

Making the Bolognese sauce

Once the two main ingredients have been chosen, the preparation of the sauce begins. 

What is the first step? In a high and not too large pan, heat very little oil and brown the bacon, then add the classic chopped carrot, celery, and onion cut by hand (not with the chopper!) So that they do not lose their water. 

Fry over low heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, and making sure that the vegetables do not burn, then add the meat and raise the heat. This stage of cooking is in my opinion very important and delicate, but often mistakenly neglected. The meat should be browned for a good half hour, mixing it and shelling it to prevent it from sticking. 

If we shortened the time, the meat would release its water in the sauce and we would have a too liquid sauce in which the meat is not cooked properly. Finally, when the meat is well browned, deglaze with the wine.

Wine… how much and which to choose? You don’t need much wine: for half a kilo of minced meat, a glass will suffice. Whatever the chosen wine is, it is essential that it is of good quality because its aromas embellish the bolognese. To further enhance them, I usually boil it slightly in a pan before adding it to the meat sauce.

Once the wine has evaporated, it’s time to add the sauce. What happens now? The sauce should be added at room temperature, it must never be cold so as not to block the cooking of the sauce. At this point, adjust the salt and pepper, trying not to overdo it at this stage because it is preferable to correct the flavor at the end of cooking, then lower the heat and cook the sauce for at least two hours. 

It is important not to completely cover the pan, but to leave the lid slightly open (the classic wooden spoon resting on the edge is enough), so that the sauce continues to simmer gently.

How do we understand that the bolognese is ready? 

The bolognese must never be abandoned to itself and, even if it is not necessary to stir it constantly, it is advisable to check from time to time that it does not dry out too much. Optionally, hot water or broth can be added to adjust the density. A good Bolognese sauce should never be too liquid.

And if, after cooking, we realize that the sauce is a little sour? It can happen, especially in summer, that the fresh sauce is a little sour. In this case, you can add a little sugar to the sauce before cooking the bolognese, then usually the long cooking will dilute the acidity. If there is an acid note that you don’t like, you can add a tablespoon of milk to the meat sauce but never, never cream!

The sauce is ready, it’s time to go to the table! Right, but pay attention to the temperatures! The bolognese must be kept warm, otherwise, it would cool the pasta and a cold and loose dish would arrive on the table.

Final thoughts

There are so many Bolognese sauce recipes out there, and all of them allow you to adjust the ingredients and make the best sauce for your own liking. Some recipes contain wine, others only water. In some, sweet milk is added at the end of cooking, in others, Parmesan. The idea is that this recipe is prepared differently by each cook.

Is there a secret ingredient or your personal touch that you want to share with us?