This White Bolognese is a classic meat sauce made without tomato. It’s a combination of beef and pork, herbs, white wine and cream and it’s rich, super comforting and zesty!
Lots of chopping goes into making this dish and a good chunk of time as well, but in the end it’s totally worth it because it’s such a flavorful, comforting dish.
Today, I’m serving up some White Bolognese…have you ever heard of it?? I first saw it at our favorite Italian specialty store at the beach called Joe Leone’s. They’ve got all kinds of delicious foods at Leone’s. I walk in the door and get all kinds of ideas for recipes I need to recreate at home and share with you folks. And I never leave without a bag full of goodies to sample and enjoy!
Now there’s been a debate in my family whether White Bolognese is even a thing. My brother-in-law John insists it’s not. I pleaded my case and tried to convince him, to no avail I might add, so I decided I was going to concoct my own recipe for it based roughly on what Joe Leone’s included and my traditional Bolognese recipe.
The result…absolutely DELICIOUS!
Why You’ll Love this Recipe
This is the ultimate comfort food dish! It’s a meal in a bowl…meat, veggies and pasta.
It’s a super satisfying meal with lots of zesty flavor.
Ingredients You’ll Need
- olive oil
- fresh sage leaves
- yellow onion
- fresh thyme leaves
- kosher salt and pepper
- bay leaves
- ground beef
- ground pork
- white cooking wine
- low-sodium chicken stock
- heavy cream
- grated Parmesan cheese
- pasta for serving
- Parmesan rind, optional
The first step will be to cook a few of your sage leaves in butter until they’re crisp.
Next up, you’ll cook your onions, carrots, celery, garlic, chopped sage leaves, thyme leaves, salt and pepper until the veggies are softened.
You’ll add your bay leaves followed by your pancetta and cook the pancetta for about 3 minutes until the fat is rendered.
At this point you will add your beef and pork and cook, breaking it up as it cooks, until it’s no longer pink and until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Then you’ll add your white wine and cook until it’s mostly evaporated also.
The next step will be to add your chicken stock, cream and your Parm rind, if using. I like to add it for extra flavor. Bring it all to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer.
You will simmer the mixture for 35-45 minutes. Be sure to stir occasionally and continue to simmer until the mixture slightly thickens.
The final step will be to remove the bay leaves and Parm rind and then stir in some grated Parmesan cheese and the crispy sage leaves.
I served mine for today’s recipe with some spaghetti, but it works with any pasta.
I made this for Tom a few weeks ago and he gave it the double thumbs up and we all know how picky he is. He’s a big fan of my traditional bolognese, but he really loved the flavor of the white and was all about the leftovers the next day too. The flavors meld even more as it sits overnight.
So yes John…white bolognese is a thing and a DELICIOUS thing at that! Gotta try it!
Please let me know if you give the recipe a try. And if you have any questions about the recipe, just drop a comment below. Enjoy!
A Few Cook’s Notes for White Bolognese
I used one pound of 90/10 ground beef and one pound ground pork for this recipe.
I like to add a Parmesan rind to the bolognese while it’s simmering for added flavor.
To make things easier, I usually chop all of my veggies the night before, so I don’t have as much work to do the day I make the bolognese.
More Delicious Italian Recipes to Enjoy
- 1 Tbsp. butter
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 14 sage leaves, keep seven whole and chop the remaining
- 1 1/2 cups yellow onion, finely chopped
- 1 1/2 cups celery, finely chopped
- 1 cup carrots, finely chopped
- 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
- 2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 tsp. pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 oz. pancetta, chopped
- 1 lb. ground beef, I use 90/10
- 1 lb. ground pork
- 1 cup white cooking wine
- 1 3/4 cups low-sodium chicken stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- Parmesan rind, if desired for extra flavor
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving
- 1 lb. spaghetti, for serving
- Melt your butter in a large deep skillet over medium heat. Add your seven fresh sage leaves and cook for about 3 minutes until crisp, flipping halfway through. Remove to a plate and set aside.
- Add the olive oil to the skillet as well as the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, thyme leaves, chopped sage leaves and salt and pepper and cook over medium heat until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the bay leaves and pancetta and cook for about 3 minutes, stirring often, until the fat is rendered.
- Raise the heat to medium-high and add your beef and pork and cook, breaking up as it cooks, until the meat is no longer pink and until the the liquid has mostly evaporated, about 7-8 minutes. Add the wine and continue to cook until it has mostly evaporated.
- Add your chicken stock, cream and Parmesan rind, if using, and bring to a boil before reducing the heat to a simmer. Simmer for 35-45 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly, stirring occasionally. Remove the bay leaves and Parmesan rind. Add your grated Parmesan and crispy sage leaves and mix gently until well combined. Remove from the heat and serve over the pasta of your choice with extra grated Parmesan cheese.