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+ servings
Bowl of pasta served with bolognese sauce.
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5 from 10 votes

Weeknight Bolognese

This quick and easy recipe lets you enjoy a classic Italian meat sauce simplified into a 30-minute meal.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots finely chopped
  • 1 pound ground sirloin or lean beef
  • 3-4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 and 1/4 cups dry red wine divided
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes ideally San Marzano or another high-quality brand
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 10-12 cranks fresh-ground black pepper
  • 1 pound dried pasta any shape
  • 1-2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup cream optional
  • freshly grated Parmesan to serve


  • Warm olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add carrots and cook, stirring frequently, for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add beef and cook, crumbling it as you go, for 5 minutes or until the meat is mostly browned. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes; cook 1 minute more. Add 1 cup of the wine and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, and black pepper. Bring sauce to a simmer and let it bubble for roughly 10 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a generous sprinkle of kosher salt, and cook pasta to al dente according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
  • To finish the sauce, add nutmeg, basil, remaining 1/4 cup wine, and cream, if using. Simmer 5-7 minutes more, stirring occasionally. Add drained pasta to the sauce. Sprinkle with Parmesan and fresh basil, if desired, and serve.


  • Wine: This does have more wine than the average dinner recipe, to be sure to use something you enjoy and would drink on its own! We love a simple Pinot Noir or Chianti.
  • Meat: Feel free to swap ground chicken or turkey for the ground beef to make this a bit leaner.
  • Pasta: Any pasta works well for this; spaghetti is always fun, but using something like shells or corkscrew-shaped cavatappi gives the sauce plenty of nooks and crannies to sink into.
  • Basil: Feel free to use fresh in the sauce if you have it! Add anywhere between 2 tablespoons and 1/4 cup of fresh basil, slivered or chopped.
  • Recipe: Adapted from Ina Garten with a few additions inspired by Marcella Hazan via the New York Times.

Nutrition Estimate

Calories: 418kcal, Carbohydrates: 54g, Protein: 20g, Fat: 11g, Saturated Fat: 4g, Cholesterol: 39mg, Sodium: 374mg, Potassium: 696mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 7g, Vitamin A: 2339IU, Vitamin C: 12mg, Calcium: 75mg, Iron: 4mg
Did you make this recipe?Leave a review below, then snap a quick picture and tag @nourishandfete on Instagram so I can see it!