Bolognese sauce

This Bolognese sauce is closer to an authentic Italian version - a fairly light dish; not too rich and definitely not drowned in tomatoes. Just add Parmesan.


  • 150g (5oz) pack of lardons
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large onions, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, crushed or grated
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
  • 1kg (2¼ lb) lean minced beef
  • 2 large glasses red wine
  • 2 x 400g (approx 1lb) cans chopped tomatoes
  • 100g (4oz) tomato purée (about half a standard tube)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • salt and pepper
  • pasta and freshly grated Parmesan to serve


  1. Fry the lardons in a large, heavy-based saucepan until golden - they will create enough of their own oil.
  2. Now add the olive oil and allow to heat up. Tip in the onions, garlic, carrots and celery and fry gently until softened.
  3. Increase the heat and add the minced beef. Fry until it has browned.
  4. Pour in the wine and boil until it has reduced by about a third. Reduce the temperature and add the tomatoes, tomato purée, bay leaves and a little seasoning.
  5. Cover with a lid and simmer over a gentle heat for 1-1½ hours until it's rich and thickened. Be sure to stir it occasionally.
  6. Taste to check the seasoning.

Keywords: Mid-week, pasta, family