Sunday Sauce - Marcella Hazan's Bolognese

Marcella Hazan's 'Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking'

Marcella Hazan's 'Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking'

In my house, Sundays are made for sweatpants and spaghetti sauce.

I like to get into my favourite pair of house pants, turn on a good podcast (currently obsessed with Casefile and anything true crime related) and get large pot of 'Sunday Sauce' going. 

Sunday Sauce for me can come in a few different forms but my favourite sauce to make, and eat, is Marcella Hazan's classic bolognese. It's packed full of flavour and is the ultimate comfort food. 

The best part is that this recipe calls for a cup of wine which means you get to have a glass (or two!) while you babysit your sauce on the stove. 


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 3 tablespoons butter plus 1 tablespoon for tossing the pasta
  • ½ cup chopped onion
  • ⅔ cup chopped celery
  • ⅔ cup chopped carrot
  • ¾ pound ground beef (I like to use a mix of beef and pork)
  • Salt
  • Black pepper, ground fresh from the mill
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • Nutmeg
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 ½ cups canned imported Italian plum tomatoes
  • 1 ¼ to 1 ½ pounds pasta (I like to use pappardelle or tagliatelle) 
  • Freshly grated (or shaved) parmigiano-reggiano cheese for serving


  1. Add the oil, butter and chopped onion to your pot over medium heat. Cook the onion until it's translucent, then add the carrots and celery and cook for about 2 minutes. I like a really fine chop on my veggies for this sauce and seriously lack knife skills so I like to use the food processor. 
  2. Add the ground beef (or beef and pork mixture) to the pan and mix it in with the veggies to cook. Add a little salt and pepper to the mix. 
  3. Add the milk and let it simmer, stirring, until it's been fully incorporated. Add a pinch of nutmeg. 
  4. Add the wine and keep stirring until the liquid is evaporated, then add the tomatoes with their juices. Once it's bubbling again, turn the heat to low and keep on a slow simmer. Keep simmering, uncovered, for up to 3-4 hours. Since you're cooking the sauce for a long time, it will reduce so you can add a 1/2 cup of water or stock along the way to keep going. 
  5. Toss the sauce with your cooked pasta of choice, adding in a tablespoon of butter or olive oil and top with the grated parmesan cheese. 

Recipe taken from the New York Times Cooking, originally from Marcella Hazan's 'Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking'