Hearty Bolognese Sauce. I call this a hearty meat sauce because we use a whole pound of ground beef, whole peeled tomatoes, an entire onion. The sauce itself feels like a meal & honestly, feel free to skip the pasta! We eat this with zoodles, veggies, right out of the container the next day, or tossed fresh over spaghetti. It is meant to be versatile. This is a happy, comforting, warm, family meal that I truly truly love and am excited to share with you.
I make or freeze this sauce for my friends when they are busy and need a dinner or if something tough is going on in their life. This bolognese is just meant to be a big Italian hug. There is something really warm and cozy about grabbing a big bowl of pasta with bolognese and eating in your PJs in front of the TV. And cooking it is just as comforting. Just wait until your house smells like slow simmered sauce – you will know exactly what I mean.
Step By Step Bolognese
The steps for this sauce are very simple. But I want to stress seasoning every layer. My directions say “add salt” four or five different times. That SEEMS crazy. I really want to stress the importance of home cooks and seasoning, because when you really learn how to season food the way you like, an entirely new door of excitement is opened.
Sauces are all about layering. So every thing you add to the pan should be seasoned. One pinch of salt at the very end into an entire pot of ingredients is just not going to be enough. As for the steps, things are very simple. Cook the onion, then the ground beef, add lots of seasonings, add the garlic & tomatoes paste. And finally, add the tomatoes. Simmering the sauce also develops flavor. I like to make it when I have 20 minutes & just let it simmer on the stove while I work or do laundry.
The best way to quickly develop flavor is to boil the sauce first, then simmer for a few minutes. You may need to add a little bit of water.
When you make this Hearty Bolognese sauce please let me know your thoughts! This one holds a lot of memories for me. Comment below or tag me on Instagram @quartersoulcrisis
Hearty Bologonese Sauce
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 1 small yellow onion chopped.
- 2 large garlic cloves minced
- 1 lb ground beef
- 2.5 tbs tomato paste
- 1 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes
- 1 tbs dried Basil
- 1 tbs dried oregano
- ½ tbs garlic powder
- 3 stems Fresh oregano
- 2 bay leaves
- Salt & pepper
- 1 lb pasta of choice
- Optional: parmesan rind for sauce*. fresh basil &/or grated parmesan for garnish
- Start sauce base: Prep ingredients. Chop onion & garlic, open ground beef, etc. In large sauce pot, heat about 2tbs of olive oil on medium low. Add chopped onion & lightly salt. Toss & cook the onions until softened & lightly browning. 5-8ish minutes. Next, add ground beef. Lightly salt.
- Break up with spatula and cook ¾ way of the way through, tossing often. Move ground beef to the sides. Add another tbs olive oil, the garlic & tomato paste. Let cook until garlic is fragrant, about 30 seconds. Toss until everything is combined & tomato paste coats the meat.
- Create Sauce: Add entire can of tomatoes, dried seasons, bay leaves, oregano, parmesan rind* if using & a little more salt. Turn heat to low (**check notes for cook times). Let simmer as long as you would like. The longer it simmers, the more flavor develops. If it will be simmering over an hour, I suggest adding ¼- 1/2 cup of water.
- Cook Pasta: Whenever you want to serve, leave time to cook pasta. Bring water to a boil with lots of salt. Cook pasta according to directions on the box. Right before draining, reserve ¾ cup pasta water. Drain pasta. To finish sauce, remove oregano stems, parm rind, & bay leaves. Add reserved pasta water. Stir until incorporated.
- To Serve: Serve sauce over cooked noodle of choice, or add noodles to sauce & toss to coat. Salt to taste as needed. Garnish with thin sliced basil & grated parmesan.