Bolognese Pizza Recipe

What is a Bolognese pizza?

Bolognese pizza is just what it sounds, it’s pizza with Bolognese sauce on it! And yes, it is absolutely delicious. Well, I think so anyway.

Bolognese Pizza
Here’s one I made earlier… a beautiful Bolognese pizza!

Generally, I’m not one for straying away from the traditional pizza toppings. However, I have to say that I think this one works great. I love making (and eating, no, devouring) Bolognese pizza.

Keep readng to find out more about Bolognese pizza or click here to skip to the recipe.

Why put Bolognese sauce on pizza?

Well, why not?! I especially like making Bolognese pizza in the winter as it makes for a very hearty meal. It’s real comfort food!

Marvin the cat
You can’t beat Bolognese pizza on a cold winter’s night… Marvin the cat approves anyway!

The good news is that a batch of Bolognese sauce goes a long way. It’s a great sauce to make if you’re doing a pizza party as one batch will make a lot of pizzas. Also, most people probably won’t have tried Bolognese pizza before so chances are they’ll be excited to try it.

If you really want the brownie points, you can make incredible poolish pizza dough or arguably the ultimate dough, sourdough. Top it off with some bolognese sauce and you’ll almost certainly have your guests drooling at the mooth! Or, just make it for yourself, and have more pizza to enjoy!

As a bonus, leftover sauce can be stored in the fridge and used another day for pasta. Alternatively, you could always make Bolognese pizza again!

Is Bolognese sauce the same as pizza sauce?

Pizza sauce is usually just crushed tomatoes that have been seasoned. Whereas a Bolognese sauce is a meat sauce that typically contains only a small amount of tomato.

Traditionally, Bolognese sauce is served with pasta. It is the sauce that is used in Lasagne, for example.

Bolognese Pasta
Bolognese sauce is not pizza sauce, it’s traditionally a pasta sauce

Regular pizza sauce is typically just blended tomatoes that have been seasoned. Check out my article on preparing pizza toppings here to see how I make my tomato sauce, as well as how I get everything else ready too. The details really do matter when it comes to making amazing pizza.

One change to Bolognese sauce I typically make for pizza is that I chop the vegetables more finely so that the sauce spreads better on the pizza. Additionally, I tend to use a bit more tomato in the sauce to further help with the spreadability (must be a word).

Where did Bolognese pizza come from?

Bolognese pizza can be considerd as a type of fusion food. It is essentially a combination of pizza and pasta sauce. Although both the sauce and the pizza are of Italian origin, it’s unlikely that the combination of the two was as well.

Naples, the home of Neapolitan pizza
Naples in Italy is the birthplace of pizza – check out my article on authentic Neapolitan pizzas and toppings here

Topping pizza with Bolognese sauce is a pretty modern thing, as far as I know. As you’re probably well aware, it’s fairly common for people to experiment with unusual pizza toppings. Some work and some don’t.

Personally, I’m a bit of a traditionalist and I really enjoy Neapolitan pizza for it’s simplicity. Juicy plum tomatoes, rich and creamy mozzarella cheese, fragrant fresh basil, and a drizzle of luxurious extra virgin olive oil – what’s not to love about the classic Margherita?!

Authentic Neapolitan Pizza
The classic and simple Margherita pizza takes some beating – check out my recipe here

Having said that, I have to say that I think Bolognese sauce on pizza works really well. It brings something different to the table (quite literally) without going too far, at least in my opinion.

What I love the most about Bolognese pizza is how hearty it is. It’s a meat lover’s paradise and it’s particularly delicious in the winter, it’s a heart warming treat!

Also, the fact that Bolognese sauce is as Italian as the pizza itself, means that the purist in me doesn’t feel too offended. But maybe that’s just me.

Bolognese pizza ingredients

For Bolognese pizza, the ingredients are mostly the same as those used for regular pizza, with the addition of the Bolognese sauce of course!

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Pizza dough
All great pizza starts with great dough… Check out my article (with a video) on making dough by hand here

Neapolitan pizza dough consists of just flour, water, salt and yeast. Once the pizza has been shaped, it’s then topped with the Bolognese sauce and usually followed by cheese. Mozzarella or parmesan can be used, or both together, before being topped off with some fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil.

The list of ingredients is as follows:

  • Flour (usually 00)
  • Water
  • Salt
  • Yeast
  • Bolognese Sauce
  • Mozzarella (optional)
  • Parmesan (optional)
  • Basil (optional)
  • Olive Oil – Extra Virgin (optional)

Personally, I would always recommend using some sort of cheese. Either mozzarella or parmesan work great, or both together. A thin layer of cheese helps to protect the Bolognese sauce from burning, as well as providing some rich flavour (and creamy texture in the case of mozzarella).

The Bolognese pizza sauce

I recommend a traditional Bolognese sauce for pizza, with a couple of small tweaks. The main differences are that I tend to chop the vegetables more finely as well as adding a bit more tomato than usual. I find that these precautions help the sauce to spread better on the pizza.

Bolognese Pizza Sauce
Homemade Bolognese pizza sauce

As is traditional for Bolognese, I don’t add any spices or herbs to the sauce. However, I do like adding some fresh basil to the pizza. Of course, you can take my sauce as a starting point and experiment as you wish.

For me, the key to the Bolognese pizza sauce is getting the consistency right. Ideally, the sauce should be around the same thickness as passata, or a regular tomato pizza sauce.

I find that it’s better for the sauce to be too thick rather than too thin. This ensures that the pizza doesn’t become too runny or soggy.

As with any meat sauce, the longer it cooks the more tender it becomes. I like to cook the sauce for around 2 or 3 hours, being sure to stir the sauce every now and then. Although, cooking for 1 hour should also be fine, especially since the sauce will cook somewhat on top of the pizza anyway.

However, cooking for longer will improve the consistency of the sauce and the meat cooks down. It also gives more time for the flavours to develop.

Bolognese pizza sauce cooking
In general, the longer it cooks, the better

When you’ve nearly finished cooking the sauce, you can check the consistency. If the sauce is too runny, you can cook it a bit longer with the lid off, this will help to evapourate some of the water off, thickening the sauce.

If the sauce is too thick, you can always add a dash of water. Just be careful not too add too much as we want the sauce to be fairly thick anyway.

Bolognese pizza calories

The total amount of calories for a 10 inch Bolognese pizza is around 975kcal. That’s assuming that you put mozzarella cheese on too, but if you skip that you could bring the calories down quite a bit. The Bolognese sauce doesn’t actually contribute that many calories to the pizza since only a relatively small amount is used.

Here is the calorie breakdown for Bolognese pizza:

  • 525Kcal – Dough (250g)
  • 50kcal – Bolognese Sauce (50g)
  • 300kcal – Mozzarella Cheese (100g)
  • 0kcal – Basil
  • 100kcal – Olive Oil

If you wanted to reduce the calories a bit, one option would be to swap the mozzarella for some grated parmesan. Also, you could go easier on the olive oil but I would struggle with that personally. I love a generous drizzle of exra virgin olive oil on the cooked pizza.

How to make Bolognese pizza

Now let’s get into how to make Bolognese pizza. It’s really easy, it just takes a bit of time to cook the sauce. The good news is that a little goes a long way so you might get a couple of meals out of it, unless you’re making a lot pizzas.

As a side note, I would recommend that you’re confident making a Margherita first before moving onto this. Feel free to check out my Authentic Neapolitan pizza reipe here if you haven’t already, before trying Bolognese pizza.

Cooking pizza
If you want to do a deep dive into every step of the pizza making process, check out my pizza school here

Also, just bear in mind that the key to this pizza is the consistency of the sauce. If anything, it’s easier if the sauce is too thick. With a thin sauce, the pizza may become soggy. And if you make a pizza and decide the sauce is a bit too thick, you can always mix in a dash of water for the next one.

With that being said, let’s get into the recipe below.

Bolognese Pizza Recipe

How to make incredible Bolognese pizza from scratch

Bolognese Pizza

5
(2)

Ingredients

Makes enough sauce for up to 20 x 10 inch pizzas!

For the dough

Check out my Pizza School series here for detailed instructions on every part of the dough making process.

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For the Bolognese pizza sauce

  • Beef or Pork mince meat – 500g to 750g (ideally a combination of the two)
  • Onions – 2 or 3 medium sized onions (I like brown onions for this recipe)
  • Carrots – 2 or 3 medium sized carrots (peeled if you like)
  • Celery – 2 or 3 medium sized stalks
  • Quality tinned tomatoes – 300g tin (I like plum tomatoes)
  • Beef or Pork stock – 250ml to 500ml (use 250ml if only cooking the sauce for aorund 1 hour)
  • Red wine – small glass (could use white wine instead)
  • Balsamic vinegar – a splash goes a long way (not required if using red wine)
  • Pepper – freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Salt – may not be required if stock is salty
Ooni Pizza

Utensils Required

Not all the following utensils are required but these are what I use and they tend to make the process easier.

I’ve provided Amazon links for you to check the prices of these items if you don’t have them already. They are usually available for reasonable prices.

  • Large mixing bowl

    Metal mixing bowls are lightweight, stackable, and easy to clean.

  • Digital weighing scales

    These are affordable, easy to use, and very precise (accurate to 1g).

  • Accurate digital weighing scales

    Scales accurate to 0.01g are perfect for weighing the tiny amounts of yeast required for long proves.

  • Pizza proofing box

    Pizza proofing boxes are an excellent investment, especially if you intend on holding pizza parties at some point!

  • Stick Blender

    With a stick blender, you can blend the tomatoes in a bowl and the clean up takes no time at all.

  • 12″ pizza peel

    A 12 inch peel is ideal for Neapolitan pizza and makes loading and removing your pizza from the oven easy.

Method

For the dough

Check out my Pizza School series here for detailed instructions on every part of the dough making process.

For the sauce

  1. Finely dice the onions, carrots, and celery.
  2. Gently fry the vegetabes (medium heat) in a large saucepan or frying pan (with olive oil) until the onoins are golden.
  3. Remove the vegetables (to prevent them from burning) and fry the mince meat (whilst breaking it up with a wooden spoon) on high heat until it has browned somewhat.
  4. Add the meat and vegetables to a large saucepan and mix them together.
  5. Add the tin of tomatoes, stock, and wine.
  6. Allow the sauce to simmer on a low heat with the lid on. Check your sauce (at least every 20 minutes) and stir regularly.
  7. Cook the sauce for 1 to 2 hours or longer, the longer the better!
  8. Be sure to check your sauce around 20 minutes from the end. If the sauce is too thin (watery) you can cook it with the lid off to thicken it up.
  9. Taste the sauce for seasoning at this point and add crushed black pepper and sea salt as required.
  10. I usually add an extra splash or two of wine at this point as well (if needed). The alcohol will reduce and mellow out in the last 20 minutes of cooking.
  11. Check that the consistency of the sauce is correct before removing it from the heat. Leave it for a bit longer with the lid off if it is still too thick.
  12. The sauce is now ready! Shape and top your pizza as normal, using your Bolognese sauce instead of tomato sauce.
  13. The sauce can be sealed and regrigerated for another day.
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Bolognese Pizza Sauce

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Final thoughts on Bolognese pizza…

Hopefully this article and recipe has inspired you to give Bolognese pizza a try. It’s not difficult to make and it’s a combination that just works incredibly well, for me at least.

It does take a bit of time to make the sauce but you could always make it theday before you’re doing pizza. Doing this saves a lot of time whilst you’re making the pizza.

Also, the sauce goes along way with enough sauce for up to 20 Bolognese pizzas! One thing I can tell you from personal experience is that making Bolognese sauce for a pizza party makes for happy guests!

Bolognese Pizza

Let’s get making Bolognese pizza!

If you have any questions, be sure to leave them in the comments section below. I’ll try to get back to you as soon as possible.

Now let’s get making some amazing Bolognese pizza!

 

Tom Rothwell from My Pizza Corner eating homemade pizza

About Me

I’m Tom Rothwell and I’m super passionate about all kinds of homemade pizza! In the last few years I've been on a quest to find the perfect pizza. Now I'm sharing what I've found out with the world!

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My Pizza Oven

I often get asked what type of oven I use for my pizzas. Well, I use a pizza oven made by a company called Ooni.

The range of pizza ovens that Ooni offers is just brilliant. They cover all bases, and all price points. There's affordable and portable models such as the Fyra 12 Pizza Oven and then there's state-of-the-art models such as the Karu 16 Pizza Oven pictured below.

In all honesty, I would say that the oven makes a huge difference. If you're looking to make authentic Italian pizza, a pizza oven is a must.

By clicking the link below and purchasing from Ooni, you would be supporting this website. I've been using their ovens for a long time now and I wouldn't recommend them if I didn't believe in their products.

Time to make some amazing pizza!

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Tom Rothwell from My Pizza Corner eating homemade pizza

About Me

I’m Tom Rothwell and I’m super passionate about all kinds of homemade pizza! In the last few years I've been on a quest to find the perfect pizza. Now I'm sharing what I've found out with the world!

Pizza oven fire with logo
Subscribe for FREE Guide

Subscribe today for your FREE PDF guide! You'll also stay updated with our latest pizza recipes, articles, and videos.

Invalid email address
Pizza Catering

I'm now doing pizza catering in the UK!

If you're interested in hiring me for your event in the UK, feel free to check out my website with the link below.

Pizza Catering

Ooni Pizza