Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Home Cooking >
Dec 6, 2006 06:17 AM


was trying to recreate a bolognese sauce from a restaurant but came out NOTHING like it. not a surprise.. but was wondering if you guys can help me get closer. the one at the restaurant was a lot creamier and more saucy. mine was meaty and...dry? the restaurant one almost seems like all the ingredients ( even the meat?!?) was pureed. how can i make it more tender, pinky and creamy and less crumble like ground meat and less brownish? i did add tomato paste and cream to try to make it a pink sauce..?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. First, many restaurants " cheat". Some may add butter, cream or cheese, or all 3 just before it's taken of the stove. That is why some restaurant Bolognese ragus taste creamier. as to other styles, some recipes utilize milk as a base for the ragu along with the other liquids. It's possible you may be browning the meat to long and the fat juices dry out. The fat juices are important to the flavor & volume of liquid of a ragu. If you use a good stock ( chicken or veal) in correct proportions to the paste and solid ingredients that may help, add stock to help achieve the consistentcy your looking for.
    There's a zillion Bolognese recipes, just keep tinkering toward the style you want.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Lorenz

      Butter and milk or cream is pretty common, hardly a cheat.

    2. What meat(s) are you using?

      Whats your order of liquid reductions?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Karl S

        i used pancetta, prosciutto, chicken liver, ground pork and beef. \though i did throw away some of the juice since i thought i had to evaporate the wine and the meat juice was like soup. maybe i will leave all the juice and also blend some of it next time

      2. the one I make (from Hazan) takes hours and hours to cook, and the meat is not browned first. It comes out very "smooth"

        see this for discussion

        1 Reply
        1. re: DGresh

          Yes the only time I made Bolognese I used Batali's recipe on Epi. A lot of the reviewers said it should simmer for as long as possible, way longer than the specified time of an hour or so. I simmered for 3 hours and kept an eye on how the sauce developed - definitely there was a difference between the texture of the meat at 1 hour and at 3. The meat seemed to dissolve into the sauce more. Although that recipe calls for fresh thyme and I would have added it later.

        2. Part of the issue is that there are a number of ingredients in Bolognese that you'd never realize are there unless you looked at a recipe. Try Mario Batali's recipe from - it calls for bacon, beef and veal - truly divine.

          1. I have blended some of the sauce, not all, as it gets too much like baby food. My daughter preferred smoother sauce.