Pasta Bolognese

Deliciously comforting and steeped in tradition, pasta Bolognese is a true mainstay of Italian cuisine, loved around the world for its simplicity and comforting flavor.

Pasta Bolognese

This perfect combination of al dente pasta and a rich sauce of ground meat, tomatoes and herbs, is a staple of family tables and Italian trattoria menus. The origin of this dish dates back to the city of Bologna, in the eponymous region of Emilia-Romagna, in northern Italy. This is where the original recipe, known as "ragù alla bolognese", originated in the 18th century. Today, Bolognese pasta continues to captivate food lovers around the world, serving as a testament to Italy's culinary richness and cultural heritage. Buon appetito! 🇮🇹
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 15 minutes
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4


  • 1 Large skillet or Dutch oven
  • 1 large pot (for boililng pasta)
  • 1 grater (for parmesan cheese)


  • 1 lb ground beef* (500 g)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion (finely chopped)
  • 2 carrots (diced)
  • 2 stalks celery (diced)
  • 3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • ½ cup red wine (125 ml - optional)
  • 1 can crushed tomatoes (28 oz - 800 g)
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 cup beef broth (or chicken broth or vegetable broth - 250 ml)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • salt and black pepper (to taste)
  • 1 cup parmigiano reggiano cheese (85 g - grated)
  • leaves basil (fresh -for garnish)
  • 1 lb pasta (450g)


  • Prepare the vegetables: peel and chop the onion, peel and cut the carrots, dice the celery and mince the garlic.
  • Sauté Vegetables: in a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. add chopped onion and brown it (about 5 minutes). Add diced carrots, diced celery, and minced garlic. Sauté until vegetables are softened.
  • Brown the Meat: add ground beef and brown it, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon as it cooks.
  • Deglaze with Wine (Optional): pour in red wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the bottom.
  • Add Tomatoes and Broth: stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, beef or vegetable broth, oregano, basil (dried), salt, and black pepper. Bring to a simmer.
  • Simmer and Cook: reduce heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for at least 1-2 hours. The longer it cooks, the richer the flavors.
  • Cook Pasta: when the bolognese is almost ready, cook the pasta according to package instructions until al dente.
  • Serve: toss the cooked pasta in the Bolognese sauce. Garnish with fresh parsley or basil and additional Parmesan cheese.


  • Bolognese sauce gets better with time, so consider making it ahead and reheating for an even richer flavor.
  • Use a mix of ground meats like beef, pork, and veal for added depth or ground turkey for a lighter version.
  • Don't rush the simmering process; low and slow is the key to a flavorful Bolognese.
  • My personal touch: add chopped mushrooms (16 oz) when you add the veggies. It will add some flavors.
Keyword Bolognese, Italian food
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Storing Bolognese sauce is a great way to enjoy its delicious flavors over multiple meals. Here’s how you can store it properly:

  1. Refrigerator Storage:

    • Allow the Bolognese sauce to cool completely at room temperature.
    • Transfer the sauce to an airtight container or a resealable plastic bag.
    • Seal the container tightly to prevent air exposure.
    • Store it in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.

  2. Freeze Storage:

    • Allow the Bolognese sauce to cool completely at room temperature.
    • Portion the sauce into smaller airtight containers or freezer bags based on your serving needs. Alternatively, you can freeze the entire batch in a large container.
    • Seal the containers or bags tightly, squeezing out excess air to prevent freezer burn.
    • Label the containers or bags with the date and contents for easy identification.
    • Store the Bolognese sauce in the freezer for up to 3-4 months.

  3. Thawing and Reheating:

    • To thaw frozen Bolognese sauce, transfer it from the freezer to the refrigerator and let it thaw overnight.
    • Once thawed, reheat the Bolognese sauce in a saucepan over low to medium heat, stirring occasionally, until heated through.
    • Serve the reheated sauce over freshly cooked pasta, polenta, or your favorite accompaniment.

By storing Bolognese sauce properly in the refrigerator or freezer, you can enjoy its rich flavors and versatility for convenient meals whenever you need them.

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