White Bolognese Rigatoni

white bolognese sauce

5 from 1 reviews

White bolognese sauce is a combination of ground veal and Italian sausage resulting in a perfectly silky and rich sauce.


Units Scale

White Bolognese Sauce:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter
810 large sage leaves
4 oz pancetta, finely diced
1 lb ground veal
1 lb ground hot Italian sausage, removed from casings
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 leek, light green and white parts only, finely diced
1 large shallot, finely diced
3 ribs celery, finely diced
1 fennel bulb, cored and finely diced
2 carrots, peeled and finely diced
1 1/2 cups dry white wine
12 oz (1 1/2 cups) cups homemade chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
2 bay leaves
1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
4 oz parmesan cheese, rind reserved
Kosher salt
Freshly cracked black pepper

For Serving:

16 oz rigatoni pasta
1 1/2 cups reserved pasta water
1/3 cup heavy cream
Grated parmesan cheese


  1. In a large braiser or dutch oven, melt the butter over medium heat. Once the butter is foamy, add the sage leaves and fry for 3-4 minutes, flipping once, until crispy. Transfer the sage leaves to a paper towel-lined plate.
  2. Add the pancetta to the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes, stirring occasionally, until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to a bowl. Add the ground veal and Italian sausage to the pan and use a spoon to break up the meat, cooking until browned and most of the liquid has evaporated. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to the same bowl with the pancetta.
  3. Add the diced leek, shallot, carrot, and celery to the pan and cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the veggies are softened and slightly browned. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Return the ground meat and pancetta to the pan and add the white wine. Simmer for 3-4 minutes, using a spoon to scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan.
  4. Add the chicken stock, cream, nutmeg, bay leaves, and the rind of the parmesan cheese and bring to a simmer. Lightly season with salt and pepper. Cover loosely with a lid to allow for some evaporation and reduce the heat to low. Simmer for about 2 hours, stirring occasionally. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. To serve: Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Add the pasta and cook to al dente. Reserve 1 1/2 cups starchy pasta water and then drain. In a large skillet, add half of the sauce with the pasta water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 10 minutes, until some of the liquid has evaporated. Add the heavy cream and the al dente pasta to the pot. Cook for another 4-5 minutes until the sauce is glossy and coats the pasta. Stir in 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Transfer to a serving bowl and top with the crispy sage and more freshly grated parmesan cheese.


This white bolognese sauce is best made a day in advance for the flavors to really meld. After cooking the sauce, cool to room temperature and refrigerate. To serve, skim some of the solidified fat on top and discard and follow serving instructions.

The sauce can also be frozen for up to 6 months.


Keywords: pasta recipe, bolognese, pasta sauce, fall dishes, main dishes