Mamma Agata’s Bolognese

Recently, while in Ravello for my wedding last September, I attended Mamma Agata’s Cooking School. If you are ever in Ravello, Italy or near Amalfi, I highly recommend taking one of her classes. She has the most beautiful home on a cliff overlooking the Amalfi Coast were her family teaches generational Italian recipes that her mom has passed down for years. It is a family affair as well- the whole family is in the kitchen and each member plays a role in getting the final dish to the table. From making their own olive oil from fresh olives they grow on property to their tomato puree and handmade pasta- everything comes as fresh as you can get it! I could not be more impressed with this wonderful family! Anyways, one of my favorite dishes she taught us to make was her Bolognese. I learned so many new things that day, but this tip really stuck with me: cook with onions when you are cooking a long term dish and cook with garlic when you are cooking a short term dish- but never do both! Her reasoning behind this is because they tend to overpower each other and garlic gets bitter over time. This was fascinating to me because I put onions AND garlic in almost every dish I cook! I was very curious how this Bolognese would turn out without garlic and  y’all- it was INCREDIBLE. It is such a rich, silky meat sauce that is better than any traditional Italian restaurant I’ve ever been to. If you want to impress some guests for a dinner party this is the dish you need to make. It is even amplified when you use Mamma’s tomato puree and homemade pasta. She ships it all over the world! I love to order some every year and save it for a special occasion but it is not a must for this dish. I hope you enjoy this little piece of Italy in your own home!

Mamma Agata’s Bolognese

  • Prep Time: 10m
  • Cook Time: 2h 15m
  • Total Time: 2h 25m
  • Serves: 4
  • Yield: 3 cups bolognese


  • 1/2 lb ground pork
  • 1/2 lb ground beef
  • 4 tbsp. butter
  • 4 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large stalk celery, minced
  • 1 large carrot, minced
  • 1/2 onion, minced
  • 125 mL red wine
  • 1 L tomato puree, preferably Mama Agatas
  • Salt and pepper


  1. In a large dutch oven, add the olive oil and butter and turn heat on to medium. When the butter is melted you can go ahead and add in the onions, carrots and celery. The vegetables should all be roughly the same size so they have the same cook time. Season the vegetables with salt and pepper and sauté for 5-8 minutes, until almost tender.
  2. When the vegetables are done, add in the ground meat, breaking it up as you add it to the pan. Cook the meat until it is no longer pink. When the meat ready you can add in the wine. Bring the wine to a boil and let it cook for about 5 minutes, until the alcohol flavor has evaporated.
  3. Lower the heat and add the tomato puree. Season the sauce with salt and pepper.
  4. Simmer the sauce for 2 hours. You do not want the sauce to be boiling, just to be at a gentle simmer.
  5. After 2 hours, taste the sauce to adjust any necessary seasonings. Toss with pasta or whatever you would like and enjoy!

xo, Rachel

Cooking items that I used:

Le Creuset Dutch Oven – color: Lapis

Wooden Spatula 

Berry and Thread Plates

Related Posts