Elizabeth David’s Bolognese Sauce

I just bought At Elizabeth David’s Table compiled by Jill Norman and it is chock full of fabulous recipes. Elizabeth David is a very interesting cook in England in the 50’s. All of her books are classics but this is my favorite. Today I made her mushroom soup, bolognese sauce and pate and they are all delicious! I was most interested in her bolognese sauce as it had pancetta, ground beef and chicken livers in it and only 3 T of tomato paste. It is a lovely recipe and made enough for a pound of pasta. I froze half of the bolognese as there are only two of us.

3 oz. pancetta or prosciutto, chopped


1 onion, chopped into small dice

1 carrot, chopped into small dice

1 stalk of celery, chopped into small dice

8 oz. lean ground beef

4 oz. chicken liver, chopped

3 T. tomato paste

3/4 cup dry white wine

salt and pepper


1 1/2 cups meat stock or water,

optional 1 cup heavy cream or milk

freshly grated parmesan

Cut the pancetta or prosciutto into very small pieces and brown them gently in a medium saucepan with 1 T. butter. Add the diced vegetables and brown, stirring occasionally. When the veg has browned add the ground beef and stir it over and over until browned. Add the chopped chicken livers and tomato paste, and then the wine. Season with salt (having ‘regard to the saltiness of the prosciutto or pancetta’) pepper and a scraping of nutmeg. Add the meat stock or water. Cover the pan and simmer gently for 30-40 minutes. Some Bolognese cooks add at the last 1 cup of heavy cream or milk to the sauce, which makes it smoother. When the ragu is served with spaghetti, mix it with the hot pasta in a heated dish so that the pasta is thoroughly impregnated with the sauce. Add a good piece of butter before serving. Serve with freshly grated parmesan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.