Pasta with Bolognese Sauce

Staff Writer
Pasta with Bolognese Sauce
Ed Cotton

Head chef and Top Chef alum Ed Cotton shares with us his recipe for pasta with Bolognese sauce from Sotto 13 restaurant in New York City. This recipe can easily be cut in half if you're not looking for restaurant portions. 

Deliver Ingredients


  • 1 Cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 5 Pounds coarsely ground pork shoulder
  • 5 Pounds coarsely ground veal
  • 5 Pounds coarsely ground lamb
  • 2 Teaspoons ground cloves
  • 1 quart chicken livers, finely puréed
  • 2 Cups minced sage leaves
  • 2 Cups chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 2 Cups chopped fresh parsley
  • 1 Tablespoon chile flakes
  • 1 quart onion, finely diced
  • 1 quart celery, finely dinced
  • 1 quart carrots, finely diced
  • 1 quart red wine
  • 1 gallon chicken stock
  • 1 gallon veal stock
  • One 10-pound can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 Pound butter
  • 1 quart heavy cream
  • 1 quart grated Parmesan cheese
  • Pasta, cooked
  • Torn basil leaves
  • Parmigiano-Reggiano


Heat olive oil in a large rondue or skillet with straight sides over high heat until smoking. Season the ground meats with salt, pepper, and ground cloves. Add the pork, veal, and lamb, and cook, stirring occasionally and breaking up large chunks of meat until cooked through, about 15 minutes. Once meats are caramelized, add the puréed chicken livers and chopped sage, basil, chile flakes, parsley and cook, stirring constantly, until just cooked through, about 2-4 minutes.

Add onion, celery, and carrots and cook, stirring frequently. Now deglaze with the wine to the meats and bring to a boil over high heat. Allow to reduce until almost gone, about 15 minutes. Add chicken stock, veal stock, bay leaf, and tomatoes. Bring pot to a boil, reduce to a bare simmer, and cook, stirring occasionally, until flavors are married and sauce is reduced to a thick, spoon-coating consistency, about 2 hours. Finish by adding some butter and heavy cream and bring to a boil and season with salt and pepper to taste. Allow the sauce to cool then refrigerate at least overnight.

For serving, heat amount needed in sauté pan and add some heavy cream, chicken stock and black pepper. Fold in basil, Parmesan cheese, and parsley, and serve with desired pasta. Garnish with torn basil leaves and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Pasta Shopping Tip

Italian food is about simplicity and letting the ingredients shine. So make sure you get ingredients that are great quality and flavor. Farmers markets and specialty stores will have great produce and products. Just be sure to have some great olive oil.

Pasta Cooking Tip

Unlike other highly regarded cuisines, Italian cooking is usually simple to make with many dishes having only 4 to 8 ingredients.Italian cooks rely chiefly on the quality of the ingredients rather than on elaborate preparation.

Pasta Wine Pairing

Sweet chenin blanc, muscat, or amontillado sherry with nut-based desserts; sauternes or sweet German wines with pound cake, cheesecake, and other mildly sweet desserts; sweet chenin blanc or muscat or Alsatian vendange tardive (late harvest) wines with sweeter desserts; sweet chenin blanc or muscat or Alsatian vendange tardive (late harvest) wines, port, madeira, late-harvest zinfandel, or cabernet sauvignon or cabernet franc with chocolate desserts.