Quick and Easy Bolognese Sauce, True Comfort Food

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bolognese sauce It’s January, mid winter and the weather still calls for some comfort food, and I say a nice pot of bolognese sauce simmering on the stove is comfort food at it’s finest!

Bolognese sauce is a meat based sauce that originated from Bologna, Italy. A classic bolognese usually consists of a mixture of meats, some pancetta, a soffrito of aromatic veggies, tomato, wine and milk or cream, it also requires many hours of simmering.

Over the years I found you can put together a darn good bolognese pretty quick and easy and in a little less than an hour.

mirepoix One thing for sure, and is a must when making your bolognese is that you want to include these veggies, a soffrito of finely chopped carrots, celery and onions and sometimes I include finely chopped mushrooms, I eliminate the pancetta all together.

If you want to speed things up instead of chopping the veggies by hand just pull out your food processor and pulse them until they turn into a small dice.

bolognese sauce For this quicker version I use only one meat and it’s usually a grass fed beef and when combined with everything else it creates a thick rich sauce with many layers of flavor and it still has that that deep simmered flavor if you don’t have the time.

If you find that you do have the time to let it simmer low and slow for a few hours by all means do it, I’ve done it myself and both ways are amazing!

pasta bolognese

Just about any pasta shape complements this meaty sauce, so just pick your favorite!

spaghetti squash bolognese

If you’re trying to watch your carb intake after all the holiday goodies, no problem, because it’s equally delicious on top of spaghetti squash, I actually love it that way.

You might want to double or triple the recipe because it freezes really well and it’s nice to have some tucked away in your freezer when comfort food is calling your name!

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5.0 from 4 reviews
Quick and Easy Bolognese Sauce
  • 1 lb. ground beef, preferably grass fed or sirloin
  • 2 carrots, finely diced
  • 2 stalks of celery, finely diced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • ¾ cup mushrooms, finely diced (optional)
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • a pinch of red pepper flakes, (optional)
  • ½ cup white wine
  • ½ cup of whole milk or cream
  • 1 28 oz. can of ground tomatoes
  • a few fresh basil leaves for added flavor
  • 2 tablespoons each of butter and olive oil
  1. Dice up your vegetables into a fine dice either by hand or pulsed in your food processor.
  2. In a heated heavy bottomed pan add the butter and olive oil.
  3. Add all the veggies and garlic and cook until soft.
  4. Toss in the ground meat and cook until browned.
  5. Deglaze with the wine and let it evaporate.
  6. Pour in the milk and let it cook for a minute.
  7. Add the tomatoes plus salt and pepper to taste.
  8. Cook uncovered on a slow simmer stirring often.
  9. Should be done after 45 minutes or so.
  10. Serve with your favorite pasta or spaghetti squash.
  11. For a longer simmer I put the milk or cream in at the end and just stir it in.


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  1. Nothing like a big warm plate of pasta with bolognese on a chilly winter evening…or any evening for that matter. Question: this is the first time I have seen milk in bolognese recipe. Does it make it creamier and or thicker? Is there a big taste difference?

  2. Beverley Press says

    Marie I have used your recipes many times and they never fail to taste delicious , thank you xoxo

  3. Gosh Marie – This looks like you could eat it right off the page. Your photos are so enticing. I haven’t made a good ragù or bolognese sauce in a long time. You’re given me the impetus to get busy.

  4. If I use ground veal would it be as good?

  5. I think I might be able to taste the difference, but you’re right, Marie, this combination of flavors would be delicious even if simmered for much less than the classic 3-4 hours or more. I’d call it “sugo di carne” and serve it with pride.

  6. This looks like the very best comfort food right now! I have always thought I would try to prepare bolognese sauce and have yet done it….that is about to change.

  7. Elizabeth D. Gladic says

    Your recipe looks wonderful and I’ll be making sauce this weekend. Do you use 80-20 ground beef? 90-10? Thank you for the clarification.

  8. This recipe sounds so similar to mine! You made me so hungry for it, I’ve decided to make it tonight. 🙂

  9. I could just cry!! Not over your sauce, it looks wonderful, we have two containers in our freezer and the freezer is hundreds of miles away. 🙁 Your sauce is making me homesick. Right now I could go for some delicious homemade bolognese sauce. Now, I was at the store and picked up some riced cauliflower. I’m making your pilaf tonight. 🙂 Can’t wait to taste it.

    • Marisa, I think you’ll love the riced cauliflower, there’s so much you can do with it. As for your bolognese, it will be tucked away waiting for you when you get home.

  10. This is our favorite sauce to make/eat! I always make my lasagna with it. I watched your video on your sidebar–nice job!

  11. This sauce is perfection! Nothing like a good bolognese! And I love it on the spaghetti squash! Delicious, Marie!

  12. I haven’t made this in forever……such a delicious sauce.
    I use a pinch of nutmeg (why?), but basically the same ingredients.
    Husband is requesting after he saw your post! 😉

  13. Wow Marie this looks fantastic! Will be making this….

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