This easy bolognese sauce is my famous mom's recipe. This bolognese sauce comes together in under an hour, takes simple ingredients, and tastes absolutely divine. This is one of my favorite savory meals to eat!
This bolognese sauce is perfect to make when you crave a hearty and comforting meal to enjoy on a rainy day or any other day! This bolognese sauce is thick, flavorful, and perfect with any kind of pasta.
Why this recipe works
- This bolognese sauce is made with fresh ingredients!
- This dish has the perfect balance of sweetness and savory flavors.
- Top this dish with freshly grated parmesan for the best experience.
- You can use your favorite pasta shapes with this sauce!
Before you start to make this recipe, measure and prepare your ingredients so the cooking process will go smoothly and easily.
Full measurements are in the recipe card below.
Ground meat- some people like adding Italian sausage to this recipe, but we like to make this recipe with ground meat only. It's easy, simple, and delicious. We use lean ground meat.
Onion- chop two medium yellow onions into small cubes.
Tomatoes- the secret ingredient for this recipe, is fresh tomatoes. NOT canned tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes have so much more flavor than canned tomatoes. We like using Roma tomatoes as we find them delicious, but any kind of fresh tomatoes will work. We grate the tomatoes on a regular grater.
Garlic- you will need 5 garlic cloves for this recipe. Use fresh garlic and not pre-grated garlic from the store. Freshly grated garlic gives this dish the best flavor.
Salt and pepper- to taste. We added 1 teaspoon of black pepper and 1 tablespoon of salt.
Sugar- if your tomatoes are sweet and not sour, you will not need to add sugar. We had lightly sour tomatoes when we made this recipe, so we added 1-2 teaspoon of sugar to break the sour taste. This step can transform your entire sauce. It's truly all about balance.
Tomato paste- for extra flavor. You will need 3 tablespoon of tomato paste for this recipe.
Parmesan- We like topping this dish with parmesan cheese. this step is optional.
Parsley- we like topping this dish with chopped parsley.
In a large skillet, on medium heat, add olive oil, and the onions, and Sautee the onions until they are lightly golden brown.
Add the garlic, and mix until combined. Add the ground meat and mix with a wooden spoon until the meat is browned.
Add the tomato paste, and mix until combined. Then add the paprika, sugar, black pepper, and sugar (if needed) and mix well until combined.
Add the grated tomatoes, and mix until the mixture is combined. Cover the pan with a lid and let the sauce simmer on low heat for at least 15 minutes. If you have more time, let it simmer for longer.
The longer it simmers, the richer the flavor will be.
Cook the pasta of your choice according to the package instructions, and scoop the bolognese sauce over the paste. We like to top our pasta bolognese plate with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.
This sauce will last for up to 4 days stored in an airtight container in the fridge, or up to 2 months stored in the freezer.
My favorite pasta to use with bolognese is tagliatelle. It is a flat-strand egg pasta that is very similar to fettuccine. You can also use fettuccine or short pasta like penne!
Bolognese is a kind of meat sauce that is thicker and creamier than American spaghetti sauce.
Italians usually do not mix their pasta with the sauce before serving. They plate their tagliatelle and top it with the bolognese to prevent the bolognese sauce from sinking to the bottom of the plate.
Store this bolognese sauce in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 4 days.
Bolognese sauce freezes great. Simply after cooking the sauce according to the instructions, let the sauce cool to room temperature, and place it in an airtight freezer-friendly container. Freeze it for up to 2 months.
There are two ways to serve bolognese sauce. The first way is to scoop the sauce over the pasta. The second way and traditional way is to save ½ cup of pasta water and toss the sauce with the pasta in a pan or a pot.
Add pasta water if needed. The second way is more popular in Italian restaurants because the sauce sticks to the pasta better when it is cooked that way.
Vegan- Switch out the meat with lentils or rice. Switch out the beef broth with vegetable broth. We suggest adding more vegetables like carrots, celery, and red pepper!
What goes with bolognese sauce?
For the best Italian experience, serve this bolognese sauce with:
- Garlic bread
- Italian salad
- Pull apart bread
- Tossed salad.
What’s for dessert?
More hearty recipes to try
Easy cottage pie- Cottage pie is an English classic and hearty comfort food. This meal is made by making a savory mixture of ground beef, topped with creamy mashed potatoes, topped with cheese, and baked to perfection.
Pink sauce pasta- This pink sauce pasta is made with a blend of tomatoes and creamy cream sauce, parmesan cheese, mozzarella, garlic, and delicious spices.
Creamy tuna pasta- This tuna pasta bake is made creamy, flavorful, and delicious. It is made with canned tuna, mozzarella cheese, and simple ingredients.
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Easy Bolognese sauce (secret ingredient)
- 2 tablespoon Olive oil
- 500 g Ground meat
- 2 Medium onions
- 4 Large tomatoes
- 5 Garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon Kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon Black pepper
- 1 tablespoon Paprika Powder
- 1-2 teaspoon Sugar
- 3 tablespoon Tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon Parsley
- In a large skillet, on medium heat, add olive oil, and the onions, and Sautee the onions until they are lightly golden brown.
- Add the garlic, and mix until combined. Add the ground meat and mix with a wooden spoon until the meat is browned.
- Add the tomato paste, and mix until combined. Then add the paprika, sugar, black pepper, and sugar (if needed) and mix well until combined.
- Add the grated tomatoes, and mix until the mixture is combined. Cover the pan with a lid and let the sauce simmer on low heat for at least 15 minutes. If you have more time, let it simmer for longer. The longer it simmers, the richer the flavor will be.
- Cook the pasta of your choice according to the package instructions, and scoop the bolognese sauce over the paste. We like to top our pasta bolognese plate with parmesan cheese and chopped parsley.