Carluccio Bolognese


I’ve developed a habit of catching at least a portion of Saturday Kitchen each week. Yesterday I caught just a bit due to aching like an old man after away-day antics at work. This largely involved flinging myself around like an acrobat and pretending I was 12. Seeing happy old Antonio Carluccio smashing together a simple bolognese was enough to get me off the couch and straight down to the local continental-style pantry to get hold of what I needed to do it myself.

The two takeaways from Carluccio were that a Bolognese should involve just a few good ingredients and be cooked for at least 2-3 hours. I also got enthusiastic about how before he plated the dish, he put the bolognese in a hot frying pan to toss it with the taglietele. Simple things.

Everyone can do bolognese; its the easiest thing in the world. But, this is the recipe I’ll be using from now on. (Serves 4).

  • 25g (1oz) butter
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium-sized onion, chopped
  • 500g (9oz) minced beef [Update: Carluccio uses half beef half pork mince, but I can’t usually find pork mince]
  • 6 tablespoons white wine (I used red and it gave it a nice rich colour)
  • 1kg (2lb) polpa di pomodoro (tomato pulp) (the jar I got was 690g, which was fine). You can get passata in supermarkets if you can’t find this, but try to ensure it doesn’t have too many added ingredients like garlic and/or herbs
  • 1 teaspoon concentrated tomato purée
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Heat the oil in a pan and add the butter. Sweat the onion for a few mins then add the meat and turn the heat up. Add and brown the meat then stir in the wine and mix in. Then add the tomato puree and stir in, then the tomato pulp. Season, then leave to cook for 2-3 hours. It should be simmering, not boiling. Cook the taglietele.

To serve, ladle as much as you need (a ladle per person makes a good portion) into a large hot frying pan and then add as much (freshly cooked) pasta as you want per person. About 150 grams per person may suit.  You don’t need to stir it; just toss it over gently until the sauce is mixed in. When its mixed in, there should be little or no fluid in the pan, it should stick to the pasta and come away as you spoon or fork it on to the plates. Generous covering of parmesan.

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5 thoughts on “Carluccio Bolognese

  1. Yes, I saw that episode to and wanted to cook it straight away. This is exactly the recipe I was looking for.

  2. I’m sure you missed out minced pork. I saw the program and am certain he used 50% beef mince and 50% pork mince.
    Good recipe though.

  3. @Doomhammer – you’re quite right, in fact he mentioned the recipe in yesterday’s Saturday Kitchen and said the same. Reason I said only beef is that I never seem to find minced pork in my local shops. Fortunately a new butcher is opening close-by 🙂 Will update… Cheers!

  4. Thank you for posting this; it used to be on the BBC website but seems to have disappeared. I *love* this recipe; it is so tasty. I have made it several times and whilst it is ok after 1.5 hours or so, it really does benefit from a longer cook. Not enough time to do that tonight so it’ll be as good as it can be with limited time! Thanks again.

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