Home ยป Weeknight Bolognese

Weeknight Bolognese


Sorry for not mentioning my menu for the week, but my plan is NOT to cook this week! I have so many leftovers from this weekend, enough for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for the week…I’m not meal-planning or cooking! 😀 It doesn’t happen often, so I’m enjoying it!

But don’t worry, I have enough recipes to share for several days to come! 😉

Looks delicious, doesn’t it?

When I was meal-planning for my parent’s weekend here, I had trouble deciding on an entree. When I perused recipes I finally decided on bolognese, a sauce I have only made once before…a sauce I loved!

I have never researched into bolognese, but basically, it is a meat sauce. The 2 recipes I have tried also include sweet spices: nutmeg and/or cinnamon, but I don’t believe that’s a criteria for a bolognese sauce. However, it sure makes it delicious!


Weeknight Bolognese adapted from Ina Garten, How Easy is That? and Pink Parsley

1 lb lean ground sirloin (I used 96% lean)
4 cloves minced garlic
1/2 Tbsp dried oregano
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 1/4 cups dry red wine, divided
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano
2 Tbsp tomato paste
kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1 lb dried whole wheat pasta, such as shells, tubes, etc.
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
1/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Add the sirloin to a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, 5-7 minutes, until the meat has started to brown and is no longer pink. Stir in the garlic, red pepper flakes, oregano, and tomato paste and cook for 1 more minute, or until fragrant.

Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits. Add the tomatos 2 teaspoons of salt, and 1 teaspoon of pepper, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Drain and pour into a large serving bowl.

As the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, basil, cream, and remaining 1/4 cup wine. Simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. Add the sauce to the pasta, along with the Parmesan cheese, and toss well. Serve hot. Yield: 7 servings (about 1 2/3 cups per serving).

Nutrition Information (per serving): 456 calories; 11.1 g. fat; 49 mg. cholesterol; 590 mg. sodium; 52 g. carbohydrate; 7 g. fiber; 30.3 g. protein

Result: I love bolognese sauces, I haven’t had a bad one yet! This one has great depth with the wine and basil, it’s delicious! The portion is hearty (who can stop at just 1 cup of pasta?!) and filling with the meaty sauce. This bolognese does come together quickly as it doesn’t involve a lot of chopping or prep. Thumbs up from the whole family! Enjoy!


It’s a good thing I don’t have to cook tonight — we have tickets to the Ohio State vs. Illinois game! Can I get a “Go Illini!”? 😉

Question: Have you ever had a bolognese sauce before?


Share With Your Friends!


  1. Joanne
    February 22, 2011 / 7:20 am

    Most bolognese recipes I see take FOREVER to cook! I love that this doesn’t. and that it uses cinnamon. Bestill my heart.

    • Manda
      September 19, 2015 / 11:47 pm

      it doesn’t use cinnamon.

  2. Gina (The Candid RD)
    February 22, 2011 / 7:33 am

    GO BUCKS!! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Have a great time at the game! enjoy your week off of cooking. you deserve a nice break from the kitchen. And, feel free to bring any leftovers by our house on the way home from the game, it’s not too far ๐Ÿ™‚

    We’ll have to plan a get together sometime in the near future. Maybe in April? We can sit outside and have drinks once it starts to get nicer outside. I’m pumped for that!

    BTW, I figured out how to add the “Like This” gadget (so you can disregard my e-mail). I see you have a larger gadget though…how did you get that? I’m not sure I want it, but maybe if you have time sometime this week you can explain it to me. No rush!

  3. Andrea@WellnessNotes
    February 22, 2011 / 8:34 am

    My family loves Bolognese, and I make a very similar sauce. Glad you have leftovers to get you through the week without cooking! I LOVE leftovers!!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Have a great week, Nicole!

  4. biz
    February 22, 2011 / 8:39 am

    I absolutely love bolognese sauce – I have a couple on my index page – a quick one like yours, and then one that cooks in a crock pot all day – I will try adding nutmeg to my next batch! Thanks for all your kind comments!!

  5. Heather
    February 22, 2011 / 8:47 am

    I have never made a bolognese and haven’t had one in years. Ironically my meat loving husband does not believe that meat should be in red sauce….

    Have fun at the game!

  6. thehealthyapron
    February 22, 2011 / 8:54 am

    I’ve had bolognese sauce once before and loved it but my husband can’t stand it. I don’t know why! It was delicious!! Have fun at the game!

  7. Marisa @ Loser for Life
    February 22, 2011 / 9:35 am

    Mmmm… this is my kinda meal! My Gram makes a slammin’ bolognese! I don’t even try to recreate it. It will never live up to hers! LOL!

  8. Holly
    February 22, 2011 / 9:35 am

    Yes! I LOVE Bolognese! My mama always made it for us when we were kids (one of her 4 signature dishes). ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Katie @ Health for the Whole Self
    February 22, 2011 / 9:54 am

    I love Bolognese! This seems totally doable!

  10. Anne Marie@New Weigh of Life
    February 22, 2011 / 10:06 am

    Never had that kind of sauce before. Enjoy your week off from cooking-sometimes they are the best!

  11. Erin L. @ WholesomeRD
    February 22, 2011 / 11:38 am

    Looks so yummy! I think the addition of red wine to any spaghetti sauce MAKES the sauce! Love it!!!

  12. Heather @ Get Healthy with Heather
    February 22, 2011 / 12:32 pm

    I have never made a bolognese before but have eaten the delicious sauce before. I love the sweet spices in there!

  13. renee@mykitchenadventures
    February 22, 2011 / 1:20 pm

    Love Ina…the sauce looks like it turned out beautiful!
    sorry, gotta say go bucks….lol

  14. Roz
    February 22, 2011 / 1:28 pm

    LOVE having leftovers! Sure makes for an easy cooking week. We LOVE Bolognaise sauce, and this recipe looks fantastic. Thanks for sharing. Have a great day!

  15. Kristen (swanky dietitian)
    February 22, 2011 / 2:27 pm

    I loved the addition of nutmeg! This looks delicious!
    You know I have never made sauce from scratch. I need to do! Thanks for sharing!

  16. erica
    February 22, 2011 / 3:59 pm

    I love not having to cook ๐Ÿ™‚ Leftovers are the best! That dish looks great Nicole! Yummy!

  17. Angela (the diet book junkie)
    February 22, 2011 / 6:27 pm

    i don’t eat red meat so i can’t say i’ve had bolognese, but i LOVE making my own pasta sauce, so much tastier and healthier (less sugar!)

  18. Mo'Betta
    February 22, 2011 / 9:34 pm

    The few times I’ve had bolognese sauce it was delicious, I don’t know why I’ve never tried to make it! Thanks for the recipe, I’ll have to give it a try. The pictures are making my mouth water!

  19. CaSaundra
    February 23, 2011 / 9:51 am

    I’m all about sauce & I am a red sauce kinda girl at heart, so this looks delish! I can’t say I’ve ever made bolognese, so time to try!

  20. Faith
    February 23, 2011 / 2:22 pm

    I love it when the fridge is all stocked up with leftovers…I love to cook but a break once in a while is so nice! This looks super delicious!!!

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