Beef Bolognese

Beef Bolognese - Eat Simple Food Print

Beef Bolognese w/ Spaghetti

Bolognese is a meat & tomato based sauce. The recipe originated in Bologna, Italy.  The ground meat (use beef or pork or a combo of the two) is minced while slow cooked in any combination of milk (dairy free folks use broth or unsweetened almond milk), water, broth, and red or white wine.  This dish concentrates more on the meat and less on the sauce.  The combination is simmered for a couple hours and reduced to concentrate flavors.  Traditionally, bolognese was served with tagliatelle but spaghetti or any other shaped pasta will work.

  • Author: beckie
  • Prep Time: 25 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 1/2 Hours
  • Total Time: -25847707.883333 minute
  • Yield: 6-8
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian


  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup onion, diced
  • 1 cup celery, finely diced
  • 1 cup carrots, finely diced
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp garlic, minced
  • 2 lb ground beef
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 2 cups dry white wine (sub red if you want)
  • 56 oz Italian plum tomatoes, diced w/ juices
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan, grated as garnish
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1lb pasta, cooked according to instructions


  • Bring a large stockpot to medium high heat and add butter and olive oil.  When pan is hot, add onion, carrots, and celery.  Cook~ 5-7 minutes uncovered (you may need to reduce the heat if the veggies are starting to burn) or until onions are translucent and vegetables soft.  Add meat, garlic, salt, and black pepper.  Crumble the meat with the back of a large fork until minced.  This can be a work out!
  • When meat is cooked & browned, add 2 cups whole milk, bring to a boil & simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, ~ 30 minutes or until milk/liquid has cooked off.  Add the wine, bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer an additional 30 minutes or until it has evaporated.  Add the tomatoes, bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer uncovered ~ 1 – 1 1/2 hours, stirring occasionally.  Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta.  Cook ~ 8-12 minutes or until desired consistency.  Drain pasta.   Plate and top with sauce OR mix 1/2 the sauce with the noodles and top with additional meat sauce.  Garnish with Parmesan cheese.  Happy Eating!  Beckie


  • The milk will look dirty, cloudy, and a bit foamy when cooking.  This is how it’s supposed to look – trust the process!
  • If the meat sauce starts to dry out when cooking the tomatoes for so long, you can add 1/2 cup of water at a time, but by the end there should be no liquid left and you will see the fat separate from the sauce.
  • Hungry?  This is the long way to make the sauce.  If you’re starving, cut the process short after simmering the tomatoes for 30 minutes.

Things In My Kitchen:

  • Classic cheese grater – This is old school and nice for when you want a little cheese (my arm gets tired of turning sometimes).  I find that a microplane zester can be just as easy for when you want more cheese.

For more kitchen items I love/use: please visit my shop page.

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Keywords: Beef, Bolognese, Comfort Food, Spaghetti

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Beef Bolognese

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