easy bolognese sauce

Pasta Bolognese is a favorite for both adults and kids and this recipe could not be easier.  


1.  Chop the onion and garlic into fine pieces.

2.  Place the onion in a medium size, heavy bottom pot on medium heat with olive oil (enough to coat bottom of pan) and begin to cook until translucent for 3-4 minutes.

 Chopped onion and garlic

Chopped onion and garlic

3.  Add the garlic and continue to stir for another minute.  If you add garlic too soon with onion it can burn and cause a bitter taste.

4.  Mix in the ground meat and cook until the meat is no longer pink, about 4-5 minutes.  

5.  Break up the beef bouillon cube, sprinkle over meat giving it a good mix.

6.  Pour in the red wine, mix well and cook until all the wine has evaporated.

7.  Add the chopped tomatoes and then simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

8.  Add salt to taste before serving.

To serve

Serve over penne, rigatoni, fusilli, or spaghetti pasta. 

Grate dish with parmesan cheese and add some bright, beautiful green basil leaves.

Can be served family style in bowl or individual portions.


For any pasta dish with sauce, reserve about 1/2 cup of pasta water which can be used to 'loosen' the sauce when putting into pasta.  Do not put all the water but use as needed if you want to make it more fluid.  Also, the starch from the water helps bind the sauce to pasta.  

There are many different types of bolognese recipes and here is probably one of the easiest.  I have kept it simple but you can substitute 1/2 pound of the chopped beef for pork or even veal, add finely chopped carrots and celery for a more traditional "mirepoix" or add two tablespoons of tomato paste for a richer sauce.

Get this sauce down and then move on to making it more to your tastes or adding a greater complexity of flavors.

2 pounds ground beef

1 box or can of chopped tomatoes (26 ounces)

1 medium yellow onion

2 cloves garlic

1 beef boullion cube

1/2 cup red wine 

olive oil

salt to taste


time.  Prep time, 15 minutes, cooking 45 minutes

level.  easy

serving. 6 to 8

Bolognese originates from the town of Bologna, Italy.  It is traditionally prepared with milk and cooked for 3 to 4 hours, served with tagliatelle, rigatoni or fusilli.  As with many old family dishes, there are a plethora of different recipes.