Creole Bolognese Sauce from Chef John Folse

Prep Time: 2 Hours

Yields: 8–10 Servings


This classic Italian meat sauce from Bologna traditionally uses at least two different kinds of meat. It can be served over pasta, used in lasagna or incorporated into other Italian dishes. You may use any brand of canned tomato you wish. However, Cento is excellent. The Creoles of New Orleans often substituted pork shoulder or beef chuck roast in place of the ground meat and called it Sunday gravy.


½ pound pickled pork, minced

1 pound ground pork

1 pound ground beef

¼ cup olive oil

2 cups diced onions

1 cup diced celery

2 tbsps minced garlic

1 cup diced carrots

3 cups beef stock

½ cup dry red wine

2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes, with juice

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

2 bay leaves

sugar to taste

salt and black pepper to taste

½ cup chopped parsley

½ cup chopped basil


In a heavy-bottomed pot, heat oil over medium-high heat. Stir in pickled pork and sauté 2–3 minutes to render fat. Add ground pork and ground beef. Cook until meat is well browned and slightly caramelized on bottom of pot, stirring often. Meat should be separated and crumbly. NOTE: If you cook the meat in a longer, slower fashion, you will bring out the best flavor. Blend in onions, celery, garlic and carrots. Sauté 3–5 minutes. When vegetables are wilted, stir in stock, wine, tomatoes with juice and tomato sauce. Bring sauce to a boil then reduce to simmer. Add bay leaves. Cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Additional stock may be needed to retain consistency; however, sauce should be thick. Sugar may be added to cut acid if necessary. Season with salt and pepper then add parsley and chopped basil. Cook 2–3 additional minutes. Remove bay leaves and serve over your favorite pasta or toasted French bread.