Print Options:

Beef Bolognese Pasta

Yields6 ServingsPrep Time10 minsCook Time2 hrs 50 minsTotal Time3 hrs

My favorite version of a classic beef bolognese sauce that tastes good on any pasta. So cozy and so delicious — perfect for any time of the year!

 1 lb pasta (any shape works)
 1 tbsp olive oil
 1 lb ground beef
 1 medium onion, small diced
 1 large carrot, small diced
 6 cloves of garlic, minced
 ½ cup milk (whole or 2% preferred)
 ½ cup dry red wine (like a Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir)
 6 oz (1 can) tomato paste
 28 oz (1 large can) diced tomatoes
 1 bay leaf
 ½ tsp dried thyme
 ½ tsp dried oregano
 ½ tsp crushed red pepper
 1 tsp white granulated sugar
 1 tsp salt
 8 oz fresh burrata cheese (optional)
 salt & freshly cracked black pepper, to taste

In a dutch oven or pot (4 qt or larger capacity), heat up the olive oil on low-medium heat. Brown the ground beef while breaking it into small pieces as it cooks. Add a large pinch of salt and fresh cracked black pepper to season the meat.


Once the beef is mostly browned (~5 minutes), add the onions, carrots, and garlic. Stir and cook on medium heat until onion is mostly translucent (~5 minutes).


Stir in the milk and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Adjust heat lower as needed so that the milk doesn't burn.


Then, stir in the dry red wine and simmer for ~2-3 minutes. Next, add the tomato paste, diced tomatoes, bay leaf, thyme, oregano, crushed red pepper, sugar, and 1 tsp salt. Stir and bring the pot to a simmer.


Once the sauce is brought to a low boil, turn down the heat so that it's slowly bubbling/simmering (not a rolling boil!!). Leave uncovered or half-covered for 2 hours, stirring occasionally to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom of the pot. We want the sauce to be thick! If the sauce is sticking too much or drying out too early, cook with the lid covered or add 1/4 cup of water to loosen up the mixture — however, keep in mind that the sauce at the end should not be watery. Salt to taste as you are cooking and stirring. I usually do a taste test each time I go to stir since the flavor will deepen and develop as it cooks.


About 15 minutes before the sauce is done, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to package instructions. Once the pasta is al dente, save 1 cup of pasta water before draining.


When the sauce is done, add the cooked pasta and 1/2 cup of pasta water into the sauce and stir to combine for 1-2 minutes. Salt to taste and use additional pasta water to loosen the sauce if desired.


Top with burrata cheese and serve immediately!

Nutrition Facts

Servings 6