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best bolognese recipe

Best Pasta Bolognese Recipe

This easy bolognese recipe is the best bolognese you'll ever try!

Course dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword bolognese, pasta, pasta sauce
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes


  • 2 medium yellow onions peeled and diced
  • 3 large carrots diced (no need to peel them)
  • 5 garlic cloves minced or microplaned
  • 2 pounds lean ground beef
  • 2 pounds lean ground pork
  • 24-26 oz of tomato paste
  • 1 bottle bold red wine
  • Bunch of fresh thyme tied with twine
  • 3 bay leaves
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 lb pasta I prefer a short pasta with this recipe, but you do you
  • Romano or Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large pot on medium heat, heat a couple tablespoons of olive oil, and add the onions, garlic, and carrots. Add a generous pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for around 15 minutes, until slightly browned.
  2. Add the meat to the pot, breaking it up into small chunks with a wooden spoon or spatula.
  3. Cook meat and vegetables together until meat is browned and/or cooked through. If there’s a lot of liquid in the pot, the meat may not brown easily. That’s fine.
  4. Fold tomato paste into the beef mixture and cook for another 5 minutes, continuing to incorporate into the other ingredients.
  5. Add the red wine, thyme, and bay leaves to the pot, plus two cups of water.
  6. Simmer the bolognese until liquid boils down by around 1/3 - around 45 minutes - then add two more cups of water. Taste the sauce frequently, seasoning with salt and pepper as desired.
  7. Simmer until sauce is rich and thick, then remove from heat. Remember that the sauce will thicken more when it cools.
  8. While sauce is simmering around 20 minutes after the second water addition, set the pasta on to boil. Reserve 1/3 cup pasta water at end of cooking.
  9. Drain cooked pasta and return to pot. Ladle desired amount of bolognese over pasta, add pasta water, and cook over medium heat until water is reduced.
  10. Serve with cheese and olive oil, if you want.