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Simple Weeknight Bolognese

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A hearty meat sauce with all of the flavor of a slow cooked sauce. Ready in under an hour!
A pot of red sauce

There is nothing more comforting than a big bowl of pasta. This hearty Simple Weeknight Bolognese is the ultimate comfort food fix. It takes little time to make but is big on flavor! Making it a great weeknight meal and not just a Sunday Gravy.

Bolognese sauce in a cast iron pot

To make it even easier,I like to chop up and measure out all of the vegetables the day before (carrots, onion, celery and garlic). Then it’s just a matter of adding everything to the pan in a few simple, easy steps.

To make this hearty meat sauce:

Start by sauteing the vegetables in good quality olive oil. Cook until soft and just lightly browned. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring, until browned and cooked through.

Once meat is cooked through, drain of any excess fat. Then add the red wine (use a bold red, such as Chianti, Sangiovese or Cabernet). Bring to and boil, just to cook off alcohol and then reduce heat a bit.

Simple Weeknight Bolognese

Add the tomatoes, broth and seasonings and stir well to combine. I used Fire Roasted Tomatoes because they add another dimension of flavor (Muir Glen are the best!). They also give the sauce such a richness, as if it has been simmering on the stove all day.

Then add a bit of heavy cream. This will not only add a bit more richness to the sauce but will also mellow some of the acidity of the tomatoes. A little bit goes a long way. I only use an 1/8 of a cup.

Then, bring the sauce to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let it do it’s thing for about 30 minutes. Stirring occasionally. While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta of your choice (I like to use rigatoni, their shape is perfect for holding that hearty meat sauce).

close up of bolognese sauce in a pot

Serve with some crusty garlic bread and a fresh salad. This Green Salad with Roasted Beets, Orange and Avocado is my favorite! Yum!!!!

What is the best pasta to serve with bolognese meat sauce?

Although most people serve meat sauce with spaghetti, I prefer to use rigatoni or penne. The sauce tends to adhere to the pasta better so you get sauce and pasta in every bite.

A pot of red sauce

Simple Weeknight Bolognese

A hearty meat sauce with all of the flavor of a slow cooked sauce. Ready in under an hour!
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Bolognese Sauce, Meat Sauce, Pasta Sauce, Simple Weeknight Bolognese
Servings: 8
Calories: 361kcal
Author: angela@mealstreetkitchen


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 1 cup onion, small diced
  • 1/2 cup carrots, small diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, small diced
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 2 28 ounce cans crushed fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon italian herbs seasoning
  • 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/8 cup heavy cream


  • In a large high sided skillet or dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add garlic, onion, celery and carrots and saute’ until soft.
  • Add ground beef and brown until cook through. Drain off any excess fat.
  • Add wine and bring to a boil, then add tomatoes, broth and seasonings stirring until well combined. Add cream. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to simmer. Simmer, stirring occasionally, 30 minutes.
  • Serve over cooked hot pasta of your choice. Enjoy!


Calories: 361kcal | Carbohydrates: 4g | Protein: 20g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 784mg | Potassium: 424mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1440IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 39mg | Iron: 2mg
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  • anitaliandish
    December 30, 2018 at 8:51 pm

    Hi Chef Mimi,
    Everything goes better with a bit of red wine added! Thanks for the great idea of using fire roasted tomatoes. Your picture is lovely, by the way…

    • angela@mealstreetkitchen
      December 31, 2018 at 6:43 pm

      Thank you!

  • chef mimi
    December 17, 2018 at 1:10 pm

    very nice! I love a little cream in Bolognese. It just adds something wonderful!

    • angela@mealstreetkitchen
      December 17, 2018 at 8:41 pm

      Thank you! Me too. It makes all the difference

5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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