Quick Bolognese Sauce

Quick Bolognese Sauce
Quick Bolognese Sauce. Evi Abeler / Katie Workman themom100.com
  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins
  • Yield: 6 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
223 Calories
7g Fat
18g Carbs
20g Protein
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Many traditional Bolognese sauces are simmered for hours, but this one just needs a short time on the stove.  It is easy to make ahead and reheat – if you are doing this intentionally, cook it up through the second step, and refrigerate it in a sealed container or covered pot for up to three days.  Reheat the sauce over low heat and stir in the milk and cheese just before serving.  I have also made this with ground turkey, for a lighter version, and it’s delicious.  Ground nutmeg is a seasoning that you might think of adding as well; it’s very traditional.  Sometimes just a bit of sautéed pancetta is also incorporated into the sauce, which you are welcome to add with the onions and other vegetables.  This is a thick sauce meant to really highlight the meat as the primary ingredient.  You could make a thinner sauce by adding another can of tomato puree (and then you'll have enough sauce for 1 1/2 pounds of dried pasta).


  • 3/4 pound sirloin steak (ground)
  • 3/4 cup onion (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup carrots (chopped)
  • 1/2 cup celery (chopped)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic (minced)
  • Coarse salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste (freshly ground)
  • 1/2 cup red wine (dry)
  • 1 28 ounce can tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon oregano (dried)
  • Optional: 1 pinch red pepper flakes
  • 1/3 cup whole milk
  • 3 tablespoons Parmesan cheese (freshly grated, plus extra for serving)

Steps to Make It

  1. In a large stockpot or Dutch oven, heat one tablespoon of the olive oil over medium heat.  Add the beef and sauté for 6 to 8 minutes, until it is browned, then drain in a colander and set aside.

  2. Heat the remaining tablespoon of olive oil in the same pot, then add the onions, carrots, and celery for 5 minutes until tender and lightly browned.  Add the garlic and cook for another minute until you can smell the garlic.  Season with salt and pepper, add the red wine, and stir and scrape any bits from the bottom.   Add the tomato puree, tomato paste, oregano, and red pepper flakes if using.  Return the browned beef to the pot and simmer for 20 minutes until the sauce is nicely thickened.

  3. Add the milk and 3 tablespoons of Parmesan and cook for another 10 minutes until the sauce is creamy and thick.  

Try these other robust and rustic pasta recipes on a cold night!