Traditional Bolognese

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For me, comfort food is Italian food. This ragú really hits the spot whenever I’m craving a decadent, hearty meal. I’ll eat it all year round, even on a hot August day. Bolognese sauce seems complex, but it’s really not– a few simple ingredients, and you have a family-friendly and conscious meal! I almost always have the ingredients on hand for it, and although it takes 90 minutes to cook, there isn’t a lot of prep involved. I’ve worked on this recipe for quite some time – in fact, this is the new version of an older recipe I posted on my original blog.

How is this recipe different than good ‘ol faithful?
  • Leaner meat, and more of it – I use pork instead of beef in this recipe
  • Less oil – less is sometimes more!
  • Less calories – the original recipe was 586 calories per serving, and it was a smaller portion! My new, lightened-up recipe is 356 calories and the servings are actually more generous!

I love to serve this with tagliatelle or even bucatini. Not in a pasta mood? Serve this veggie-packed sauce over polenta! Make sure  you have some Parmigiano Reggiano on hand to grate on top! 

A big white plate full of bolognese with tagliatelle. Two other blue plates with helpings, a block of cheese, wine glasses, and forks.

In order to make my Traditional Bolognese, Lightened Up, you will need a few ingredients:

  • 1 lb of ground pork (I always have some from ButcherBox on hand in my freezer)
  • 6 oz white Wine (pick something you love – never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink yourself)
  • olive oil
  • onion
  • carrots
  • celery
  • double-concentrated tomato paste (this is the brand I use – a staple in my pantry)
  • garlic
  • italian seasoning blend
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • salt
  • water

Enjoy, and as always, please let me know if you make this recipe – and if you do, don’t forget to tag @seasonedandsalted and #seasonedandsalted on Instagram!

Traditional Bolognese, Lightened Up

A hearty, veggie-packed Bolognese made healthier thanks to less oil and more lean protein!
Print Recipe
Servings: 4
Calories: 356kcal
Author: Allie Hagerty
Prep Time:30 minutes
Cook Time:1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time:2 hours



  • Heat the olive oil in your pot until glistening. Next, add the onion and stir. Cook over medium-low heat for 5-8 minutes until the onions start to turn translucent, stirring frequently.
  • Add the carrots, celery, salt + pepper, garlic, and Italian seasoning blend. Stir to combine. Cover and cook for another 5-8 minutes. The vegetable mix should soften and brown around the edges.
  • Add the ground pork and break it up into small pieces using a spoon. Turn the heat up to medium-high and cook for 8-10 minutes, string frequently, until the meat is browned and cooked through.
  • Stir in the tomato paste and cook for a minute. Make sure to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pot. Next, add your wine and water (or just 1.5 cup of water if you are not using wine). Taste and season accordingly – sometimes I add a little more salt or pepper at this time.
  • Cover and bring the heat down to low. Cook for 1 ½ hours. It’s important that you cook the ragú over very, very low heat during this time. I also like to keep ¼ – ½ cup of water on hand in case the sauce starts to dry out (although I’ve only had to add a bit of water once). Better to be prepared!
  • Serve with tagliatelle or bucatini, never spaghetti! Finish with freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano. Fantastic over polenta!


You can use any ground meat you like – you can even use a meat alternative! 


Calories: 356kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 23g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 73mg | Sodium: 389mg | Potassium: 275mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 237IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 41mg | Iron: 9mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @seasonedandsalted or tag #seasonedandsalted!

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