Easy Weeknight Bolognese

Yo! I’ve been a little lazy about posting with the holidays, but hope everyone had a fantastic Christmas if you celebrate! I haven’t been cooking too much this past week and by yesterday, I was dying for a Sunday dinner that was made by me. I’ve been doing Ina Garten’s Easy Weeknight Bolognese for the past few years, one of my favorite hearty pasta dishes and exactly what I felt like last night. There are so many recipes for Bolognese out there and most of them are very labor and time intensive, which is why I love this one. So flavorful and delicious, yet takes less than an hour.

Good enough to make for guests too! I had my friend Nicole and her 2 boys over last night. None of our boys were impressed with the sauce, they all ate plain pasta. Bo-ring! Nicole and I both had seconds.

Weeknight Bolognese from Barefoot Contessa’s How Easy is That


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound lean grass-fed ground beef
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (roughly 5 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 cups dry red wine, divided – I used a Cabernet and it was amazing, so rich in flavor, plus there was extra to drink!
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, or a 24-ounce BPA free box of San Marzano tomatoes –  I used the 24-ounce BPA-free box of San Marzao tomatoes, and it’s the same as using a 28-ounce can.
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 to 1 1/2 teaspoons fine kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 box dried orecchiette pasta
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving


Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute. Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, add a tablespoon of salt, a splash of oil, and the pasta, and cook according to the directions on the box, usually 11 minutes.

While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, basil, cream, and the remaining 1/4 cup wine to the sauce and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. When the pasta is cooked, drain and pour into a large serving bowl. Add the sauce and 1/2 cup Parmesan and toss well. Serve hot with Parmesan on the side.


One thought on “Easy Weeknight Bolognese

  1. Pingback: My Perfect Bolognese | Here's What Works

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