Wednesday, June 27, 2012

#54. Master my mum's Italian recipes - Sugo (Bolognese)

The Sugo simmering away [image by Zahara Dessert]
One of the first of my Mother's recipes that I mastered was her Bolognese Sauce...or as we call it at home - Sugo (which just means sauce in Italian).

And although it tastes great, I can never make it taste exactly like my mum's.

Despite this, I thought I would share with you her recipe, so you can give it a go.

The bouquet garni [image by Zahara Dessert]
1 kg of very good quality mince (a 50/50 mix of Veal and Pork)
1 large onion finely chopped
2 or 3 tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
3 x 400gram cans of diced tinned tomatoes
1 bottle of Tomato passata (usually a bottle is 750ml)
1 tablespoon of tomato paste
Bouquet Garni (a mixture of fresh rosemary, sage, thyme and/or basil]
Salt and Pepper

* Note you can double or halve the quantities if you wish

The Sugo after it has cooked for over an hour [image by Zahara Dessert]
Heat the Olive oil in a heavy based saucepan on a medium heat and add the chopped onions.
Saute the onions and when the onions starts to go a pale yellow, add 1 tablespoon of warm water to the onions. Stir through and allow the water to evaporate. Once the onions have dried, repeat this step. Do this about 3 or 4 times. (By adding the water, the onions become translucent and almost melt away in the final Bolognese sauce).

Add the mince to the onions. Break up the mince and allow it to cook through.

Once the mince is cooked and any moisture has gone, add the tinned tomatoes, Passata and the tomato paste.

Mix well.

Then add the bouquet garni and season with salt and pepper

Bring the sauce to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for at least 2 or 3 hours, mixing the sauce every 20 minutes or so.

Once you think it is ready, test the sauce for seasoning and add more salt if you think it is necessary.
Also make sure you remove the Bouquet Garni.

Serve the Sugo on your choice of cooked pasta.
I personally LOVE a Bolonese Sugo with Spaghetti or Fettuccine.
Husband likes his with Penne.

Apologies for the photos, I must stress again I am not a food blogger... but I promise I will try to improve the photos in future food posts

The final result... I need to improve my food styling! [image by Zahara Dessert]


  1. This is a very good post. It would be lovely if you would link it in to Food on Friday: Beef - I am sure it would help lots of people

  2. Hi Sara, we met at Blogopolis on Saturday. I love this post. My Dad is Italian and I try to cook my Nonna's recipes all the time. A few I can cook really well but others just dont turn out quite right lol! I write a lot about La Cucina Povera over at my blog. It would be nice to hear your thoughts... Claudia x

    1. It was great meeting you. I know I can never get most things right. I look forward to checking your site out


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