Lamb ‘Bolognese’

Mix a little cooking skills from Bologna to the great chefs of Crete and you can make a great meat sauce that is perfect with pasta, over clams, or countless other meals like lasagna.



  • 1/2 cup Greek 🇬🇷 olive oil (any extra virgin olive oil will do) even 🇮🇹 or 🇪🇸
  • 2 cups minced onions
  • 4 celery sticks (ribs) minced
  • 4 peeled carrots 🥕  minced
  • 6 thickly sliced proscuitto
  • 4 chicken livers (they are usually in the frozen heart section and are rather disgusting)
  • 4 pounds of ground lamb (you can use ground chuck as well, 80:20)
  • 1 cup of full bodied red wine
  • 2 cups hot milk
  • 2 cups of beef broth
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 28oz cans of pureed 🇮🇹 Italian plum tomatoes
  • 2 28oz cans of whole peeked tomatoes strained

The Tools

  • Food processor
  • Knife
  • Measuring spoons
  • Measuring cup (liquid)
  • 2 Sauce pans
  • Heavy pot
  • Wooden spoon

Making It

  • Put the prosciutto in the food processor and pulse it 4 times for a rough chop, then add the chicken livers and pulse until they are finely chopped.  Set aside and try not to look at it as it is a gruesome sight.
  • Heat milk in sauce pan to hot but do not let bubble, then keep it warm on a simmer temp
  • Heat the broth and tomatoes in a sauce pan until hot
  • Put the oil in the heavy pot (I prefer copper) and turn heat to medium high.  Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, until translucent but of not brown them, stir frequently.  Add the celery and carrot and cook for about 3 minutes. Add the liver/prosciutto mix and cook for 2-3 minutes, leaving it a little pink.  Crumble up the meat and cook in the pot for 5 minutes until it is a little pink…remember this is going to cook for hours, so you just want to cook it like a rare steak.
  • Add the wine to the pot and cook it down for 5 minutes or until it evaporates.  Don’t be impatient as you do not want a soupy ragu
  • Add the milk and cook until it has evaporated
  • Add 1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper
  • Add the broth/ tomato sauce to the mix and reduce heat to low as well as the two cans of peeked whole tomatoes that have been strained
  • Cook down on low for 2 1/2 hours to 3 hours

Time to cook

There are so many uses for this sauce it is hard to list.

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