Grampy’s Bolognese Sauce Recipe

Leo Kerz, Web Editor

Livio’s Sauce

The following is the recipe to make my Nono Livio’s sauce. My Mother passed the recipe down to me, and now it’s being passed on to other Clark students. The recipe originates from Northern Italy and is differentiated from other Italian tomato-based sauces with its inclusion of carrots and celery. This specific sauce could be labeled a Bolognese, which is traditionally a meat sauce, but it can be just as good with the meat omitted. The Northern Italian style sauce is iconic and works well in large batches, it can be refrigerated for up to a week or frozen for up to 6 months.


  1. Large saucepan
  2. Stirring utensil (rubber or wooden)
  3. Cutting surface
  4. Knife 


  1. 1.5 lbs. of ground beef (optional)
  2. 1.5 lbs. of ground Italian sausage (optional)
  3. 2 large carrots and 2 celery stalks (chopped into approximately half-inch cubes)
  4. 1 medium yellow onion (chopped into approximately half-inch squares)
  5. 2 garlic cloves (minced)
  6. 32 ounces diced tomato
  7. 4 ounces tomato paste
  8. 4 ounces water or chicken broth 

You can use about as much as your heart desires for the following (start with about 2 teaspoons each):

  • Oregano
  • Basil
  • Crushed red pepper 
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Sugar


  1. Heat up a large saucepan to medium heat and add just enough olive oil to thinly coat the bottom of the pan. 
  2. Once hot, add onions, and garlic, crushed red pepper to the pan. Sauté until the onions and garlic shine with a light golden tint, stir often so they don’t burn. 
  3. Optionally, add ground beef and sausage after this, then mash the meat into smaller chunks using a wooden spoon. Wait until the meat is cooked on the surface to move on to the next step… 
  4. Add your carrots and celery to the pan, along with the rest of your spices. Then add the tomato paste, puree, and water. Stir the mixture well then bring to a boil for about 2 minutes.
  5. (If possible, cover the pan) then turn the heat down to a low simmer for at least 45 minutes, or up to 6 hours. The longer it simmers the better.
  6. Can be served over pasta, baked potatoes, rice, or put in lasagna.