Browse All Recipes

Emma Knowles' Bolognese sauce

Australian Gourmet Traveller recipe for pasta Bolognese sauce.

By Emma Knowles
  • 30 mins preparation
  • 2 hrs 10 mins cooking
  • Serves 6
  • Print
Emma Knowles' Bolognese sauce
To add to the great Bolognese debate, this is our food director Emma Knowles' version (although not our only version). Don't use finely minced meat - ask your butcher to coarsely mince the meat for you. Or, if you feel so inclined, hand mince it yourself. Toss this sauce through fresh pappardelle or go Aussie and get yourself some good-quality dried spaghetti. Either way, generous amounts of Parmigiano-Reggiano are a must.


  • 50 ml olive oil
  • 750 gm coarsely minced veal
  • 250 gm coarsely minced pork
  • 100 gm round mild pancetta, finely chopped
  • 50 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 15 gm dried porcini mushrooms, broken into small pieces
  • 2 sage sprigs
  • 2 oregano sprigs, plus extra leaves to serve
  • 100 gm tomato paste
  • 150 ml red wine
  • 650 ml beef stock (or water)
  • 400 gm canned whole tomatoes
  • 100 ml pouring cream
  • 2 tsp aged red wine vinegar
  • To serve: finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano


  • 1
    Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add minced veal, minced pork and pancetta, season to taste, increase heat to high and cook until liquid evaporates and meat browns (10-15 minutes). Scatter over butter, stir until evenly browned (25-30 minutes). Add carrot, onion, celery, garlic, porcini and herbs, reduce heat to low-medium and cook until vegetables are tender (10-15 minutes). Add tomato paste, stir to combine and cook for 5 minutes. Increase heat to high, deglaze with wine and cook until evaporated (2-3 minutes), then add 125ml stock and 125ml water and cook, scraping bottom of pan with a wooden spoon until stock almost evaporates (5-10 minutes). Repeat twice, then add remaining stock, tomato and 125ml water, reduce heat to low and simmer until very tender and liquid is reduced to a sauce (30-40 minutes). Remove herbs, add cream and cook for 1-2 minutes, add vinegar, season generously to taste and toss through pasta. Serve immediately with plenty of finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, scattered with oregano leaves.
  • Author: Emma Knowles