Beef Bolognese

Lunch / Dinner

Beef Bolognese

If you can find 45 minutes to spare, upgrade that predictable pasta dinner with a rich and hearty ragu-style sauce. Although Bolognese [boh-loh-NYEHzeh] has many of the same ingredients as spaghetti sauce — and is served over basic pasta here — don’t confuse the two. This sauce is really more of a ragu, or stew, with layers of flavor.

After the meats are browned, a mixture of onion, carrot, and celery is added — this is called mirepoix [mihrPWAH]. In classic cooking, it’s as much of a seasoning as any herb. Either grated or minced, it’s meant to provide flavor, then dissolve into the sauce along with red wine and tomatoes.

It’s a little surprising, but actually very traditional, to include milk or cream in a Bolognese sauce. It adds sweetness and richness without making it creamy. If you don’t want the added fat of cream, just use milk.


4 servings

Total Time

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Test Kitchen Tips

If you have difficulty locating bulk sausage, the link variety works as well — just remember to remove the casing before browning the meat.

For meaty, chunky sauces like this, use a tube-like pasta with a hollow center, such as penne or rigatoni. The sauce fills those hollows and evenly distributes into each bite.


Brown beef and sausage in oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, 5 minutes.

Add onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste, garlic, and bay leaf; sauté until onion softens, about 5 minutes.

Deglaze pan with wine, scraping up any browned bits; cook until liquid is almost evaporated. Stir in tomatoes and cream and simmer over medium heat, 1520 minutes; season with salt and pepper.

Cook penne in a pot of boiling salted water according to package directions; drain.

Serve Bolognese over penne and garnish with parsley and Parmesan.


When browning the beef and sausage, don’t drain the drippings — they add flavor to the sauce.


Add vegetables, tomato paste, and a bay leaf to take the sauce to stew-status. Cook until the veggies soften.


For richness, finish up with tomatoes and cream. Bring the Bolognese to a boil, then simmer until it’s thick.

Nutritional Facts

Nutritional Facts

Per serving

Calories: 1011

% Daily Value*

Total Fat 45g 69%

Saturated Fat 21g 105%

Cholesterol 173mg 57%

Sodium 856mg 35%

Carbs 100g 33%

Fiber 5g 20%

Protein 48g

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet.

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