Sugo by chef Luciano

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Nestled in the heart of Italy’s culinary landscape lies a dish that embodies the essence of Italian comfort food: Sugo alla Bolognese. This rich and flavorful meat sauce, hailing from the city of Bologna, is more than just a recipe; it’s a cultural icon that has captured the hearts and palates of food enthusiasts worldwide.

Dating back centuries, the origins of Sugo alla Bolognese are steeped in tradition and regional pride. While its exact inception remains shrouded in mystery, the dish’s roots can be traced to the fertile plains of Emilia-Romagna, where a dedication to quality ingredients and time-honored techniques defines the local cuisine.

At its core, Sugo alla Bolognese is a testament to simplicity and patience. Crafted from a harmonious blend of ground meats, aromatic vegetables, tomatoes, and a splash of wine, this sauce simmers low and slow, allowing the flavors to meld and develop into a symphony of taste.

But what sets Sugo alla Bolognese apart is its versatility. While traditionally paired with tagliatelle pasta, this savory sauce also complements a variety of other dishes, from lasagna to polenta, showcasing its adaptability and culinary prowess.

Beyond its gastronomic appeal, Sugo alla Bolognese holds a special place in Italian culture. It’s a dish that evokes memories of family gatherings, shared meals, and cherished traditions. Whether enjoyed around the dinner table or savored in a quaint trattoria, each bite tells a story of love, heritage, and the simple joys of Italian cooking.

As you embark on your culinary journey through Italy, let Sugo alla Bolognese be your guide, offering a taste of tradition and a glimpse into the soul of Italian cuisine.

Sugo by chef Luciano

Recipe by Lukas Erlebach


Prep time


Cooking time






  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 2 cans (28 oz each) whole peeled tomatoes

  • 1 carrot, finely grated

  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped

  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 1 tsp sugar (optional, to balance acidity)

  • A handful of fresh basil leaves, torn

  • A pinch of dried oregano

  • Freshly grated Parmesan cheese (for serving)


  • Heat the Olive Oil: In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat.
  • Sauté the Vegetables: Add the finely chopped onion, minced garlic, grated carrot, and chopped celery to the pan. Sauté until the vegetables are soft and the onion is translucent, about 5-7 minutes.
  • Add the Tomatoes: Pour in the canned tomatoes, including the juice. Use a wooden spoon to break the tomatoes into smaller pieces as they cook.
  • Simmer: If using, add the red wine to the pan. Stir to combine. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Let it simmer gently, uncovered, for about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Season: Season the sauce with salt, pepper, and a pinch of sugar if needed. Add the torn basil leaves and a pinch of dried oregano.
  • Blend (Optional): For a smoother sauce, you can use an immersion blender to blend the sauce to your desired consistency.
  • Serve: Serve the sugo hot over your favorite pasta, topped with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.


  • This sugo can be used on crunchy bread or as a topping for pizza.