Easy Bolognese Sauce (Meat Sauce)

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Yields: 4 Servings Difficulty: Easy Prep Time: 20 Mins Cook Time: 35 Mins Total Time: 55 Mins

Bolognese Sauce

What’s better than a tangy Tomato Bolognese Sauce to top pasta or a plate of Gnocchi? (pronounced NEE-OKI) Bolognese Sauce has got to be the heartiest of all pasta sauces.  It’s like literally an entree and second put together all in one.  You can use any type of ground meat to make a Bolognese Sauce, however the most widely used is ground veal or beef.

This sauce is easy to make and tastes absolutely fantastic.  This Easy Bolognese Sauce is an Italian staple, used almost every day.

I find that sometimes the tomatoes aren’t as sweet as they should be and when this happens I will add something special.  Read on to find my dirty little secret.  about half a teaspoon of sugar.  The sugar takes away the tartness of sauce when the tomatoes aren’t as sweet as normal.

This easy Bolognese Sauce goes perfectly on top of any pasta. Just make sure that you cook your pasta according to the manufacturer’s instructions on the box.  Also, If you want to top this amazing Bolognese Sauce on gnocchi, you can buy them already pre-packaged.  I have used this brand before here.  If you are making gnocchi, note that they won’t take long to cook at all.  You’ll find them at your local grocery store.  Cook the gnocchi like pasta.

Tips and Tricks to Making the Best Bolognese Sauce

To Wine or Not to Wine

This recipe does call for red wine.  However, it is not 100% essential.  If you don’t like cooking with alcohol or spirits, simply skip the wine and go on.

Preparation and Simmering your Sauce

A word of caution that some store bought tomato puree is pre-seasoned.  Try to buy unseasoned tomato puree so that you can control the amount of salt you add to your tomato sauce.

You’ll want to chop all the vegetables before you get started so that you can easily add everything to the pan as needed.  This way, you get your hands dirty at the beginning and you have everything prepped  and ready to go.

vegetables on cutting board

Start with the sauteing the onion and garlic.  Don’t brown them, just cook them until they are light in color. Then add the carrots, tomato, celery and any other vegetables you want to add.

By the way, I used a cheese grater to shred my carrots because I didn’t want to see chunks of carrots in my sauce.

vegetables in frypan

Once the vegetables have cooked down a little add the ground meat.  Add your spices at this point, but don’t over do it with the spices because you will get a chance to finish seasoning at the end.

bolognese sauce in frypan

Saute until the meat is cooked and most of the excess liquid has evaporated. Add in the tomato paste and brown pan contents a little.  Add in the wine and cook covered for about 3 or 4 minutes.  Then add the tomato puree. Use your judgement about how much to add.  If you want a thicker sauce then use less tomato puree.

 

bolognese sauce in frypan

 

Stir everything together.  Now here is my secret to this easy Bolognese Sauce.  Are you ready?  Sometimes you’ll get a batch of tomato puree that is a bit tart and acidic.  Don’t worry, this trick will make your Bolognese Sauce the star of all sauces.  Just add about 1 teaspoon of white sugar to the sauce.  The sugar takes away the tartness of sauce when the tomatoes aren’t as sweet as normal.

Frying Pan vs. Sauce Pan

Really, you could use either a frying pan or a saucepan to make your bolognese sauce.  Me, personally, I love using a frying pan to cook my bolognese sauce.  I find that the sauce cooks way quicker in a frying pan and tastes a little bit better.  Cook your bolognese sauce covered for about 30 minutes. If you want to thicken it as it cooks, cook it slightly uncovered.

Easy Bolognese Sauce (Meat Sauce) 1

 

Pasta and the Finish

You’ve gone through all this trouble to make your home made bolognese sauce. Don’t ruin it by pouring it over soggy pasta.  Always cook your past as directed by the product instructions and remove the pasta when it’s al dente. Al dente means cooked but firm to the bite.

And, of course, top your pasta or gnocchi off with Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. Oh and by the way don’t buy cheese that comes in a jar in the grocery isle.  All good cheese can be found in the deli-cheese section not on a shelf in an isle.

Store leftovers refrigerated in an airtight container for a maximum of 5 days. You can also freeze for later. When you need this sauce, thaw out in the fridge for 24 hours and then pour into a saucepan to warm it up.

Drop a comment below if you made this Easy Bolognese Sauce. I’d love to see your pictures as well as know what you put in your sauce.  So don’t forget to post them on your Instagram account. Tag me at #girl_with_a_spatula and follow me @girl_with_a_spatula

Looking for other lip smacking recipes?  Click here to search the site for some great inspiration.

Easy Bolognese Sauce

Recipe Details for this Easy Bolognese Sauce

Ingredients

0/13 Ingredients
Adjust Servings

Instructions

0/4 Instructions
  • Heat up olive oil. Toss in garlic and onion and sauté until fragrant. Add carrots and tomato and continue to cook.
  • Add ground meat to pan and add salt. and herbs. Cook ground beef add ground nutmeg. Add in the tomato paste and brown pan contents a little.  Add in the wine and cook covered for about 3 or 4 minutes.  Then add the tomato puree. Use your judgement about how much to add.  If you want a thicker sauce then use less tomato puree.
  • Add the tomato puree. Use your judgement about how much to add.  If you want a thicker sauce then use less tomato puree, and bring to a boil. If needed, add sugar to reduce sauce tartness. Reduce to simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • If needed adjust seasoning by adding more salt and pepper. Add dry basil at end, once cooked. Prepare your pasta as directed on the box.

Notes

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