There is an astounding amount of comfort to be found in a bowl of tender pasta thickly coated in a flavourful bolognese sauce. Am I wrong?
We may not be Italians, but when hubby and I dine at a new Italian restaurant we judge how good the food will be by how their bolognese tastes. Why do so many cooks have such a difficult time with pasta sauces? I am not saying I’m an expert in Italian cookery — far from it. But I know a good bolognese sauce when I taste one.
Over the years I’ve tried a crazy amount of bolognese sauce recipes. I was never satisfied with the results until I finally learned how to make pasta from the Godfather movie. I know it’s a silly statement, but it’s true and you can read my story on that here.
True, authentic, bolognese sauce (called ragù alla bolognese in Italy) takes a long time to prepare. There are many steps involved, all of which are done in order to create the layers upon layers of scrumptious flavours that will have you licking your fingers. Unfortunately most of us do not have the time required for creating the true flavours of this famous Italian sauce.
This recipe is my quick go-to when the craving for homemade bolognese sauce strikes. To my Italian friends I ask for your forgiveness for butchering the authentic Italian recipe for ragù alla bolognese. Trust me I feel your pain, it’s pretty annoying seeing the traditional recipes of your home country turned upside down. (Lol) While this may not be a traditional recipe it is a pretty darn good one. This sauce has been on top of or mixed into our pastas for almost 10 years. You can feel safe in that this is a tried and tested recipe that has satisfied the bolognese cravings in my home for a long time.
Below is my humble and quick recipe for bolognese sauce. If you’d like to test out a truly authentic ragù alla bolognese recipe by an Italian cook, please stop by Memorie di Angelina and check out Frank’s recipe.
- 1 Tbs. good quality olive oil
- 1 lb or 500 gm of ground pork-beef meat*
- one 15 oz or 400 grams can of chopped stewed tomatoes (if using whole canned tomatoes first break up before using)
- 6 oz or 200 grams tomato puree
- 8 garlic cloves, minced
- ½ tbsp. Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp. dried thyme
- 2 tsp. dried oregano
- 2 tsp. dried basil
- 1 large bay leaf
- 1 to 2 tbsp of chile flakes, optional
- large pinch of granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. fine sea salt, adjust to taste
- ½ tsp. ground black pepper
- ¼ cup (100 ml) red wine**
- 1 package of corn linguine pasta noodles (or your pasta of choice)
- extra parmesan for grating over the pasta, optional
- Heat the olive oil, once warm add the ground meat mixture and sauté until the meat has cooked through. Drain off all excess oil. Next add the all the remaining ingredients except the pasta noodles and extra parmesan. Over medium heat, and partially covered, allow to simmer for at least 40 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning if desired or needed.
- Prepare the pasta noodles according to package instructions. To serve you can either mix the cooked sauce into the cooked pasta, or serve the bolognese on top of the noodles.
**The wine adds flavour but not an alcohol taste. I have tested the recipe using and omit it, both with great results. You may completely omit it or use broth in it's place.
For a vegan bolognese either omit the meat or replace it with finely chopped mushrooms. Please notice that I've only ever tested the meat version.
You’ll also notice that I used corn pasta which of course you can replace with your favourite wheat or gluten free one. And though we love a little kick in our bologense that doesn’t me you have to add it — but you should try it at least once. It’s delicious!
As you can see in the photos, I like to mix the sauce into the noodles then scooping extra sauce on top before serving the meal. How about you, do you like to mix the sauce into the noodle or top the noodles with the sauce?
Lipsmackingly good. Those are wonderful pasta.
Lovely sauce! I love a little heat in my pasta sauce too, but I will leave the 2 Tablespoons of pepper flake to you! lol =)
This is definitely mouthwatering! Love how you mix the pasta with the sauce, I think the pasta tastes better when it’s completely blended with the sauce. BTW never had corn pasta before. Need to check if I can find it here.
Abbe@This is How I Cook says
Gorgeous photos! I love bolognese, too! And it appears there are countless ways to make it. Honestly though, i think there is no bad way!
Matt Robinson says
What an amazing pasta dish!!! The perfect comfort food no matter what time of year.
I LOVE a good Bolognese sauce and you’re right about a good one taking a long time to make. However your quick and easy one looks fantastic. There’s nothing better than a big bowl of pasta with a good sauce and your version looks mouthwatering!
John@Kitchen Riffs says
I love a great Italian red sauce, preferably a spicy one. This is just my thing — perfect! Thanks so mluch.
Your recipe sounds amazing! I have never made bolognese. Now with this lovely recipe I need to make bolognese for sure! Beautiful, Hugs, Terra
Vicki Bensinger says
Ooh this looks so good. I love pasta. Asa. Kid I use to eat it daily. As an adult I’d love to but can’t take all the carbs now. This recipe looks easy and wonderful
You are so right about Bolognese sauce, Nancy.
Seems simple and often seen, but preparing a real gourmet Bolognese is like passing the last exam at High School.
Love your version and I’m going to prepare it this weekend – looking forward to it:)
I’ve never made this before but plan on it real soon. Had it once on a cruise ship and even though I had nothing to compare it to I felt it just wasn’t right.
Bolognese is one of Bobby’s favorite meals and I know he would flip head over heels if I set a bowl of this in front of him. I do have a recipe that I’ve been using for years and it’s gotten old. Thank you for sharing yours! I love the red addition of chile flakes. :)
Frank @Memorie di Angelina says
Thanks so much for the shout out, Nancy! Believe it or not, for whatever reason I’m just seeing this post now, three months late… I’d say what you’ve come up with here a perfectly respectable example of what Italians call a “sugo da carne” (meat sauce), suitable for every day use just as you say.
Spicie Foodie says
My pleasure, Frank, you know how much I love your recipes. Thank you for the information — I’m still clueless when it comes to Italian cuisine.