Traditional bolognese sauce is primarily comprised of meat (ground beef), with just a bit of tomato sauce. Spaghetti sauce is mostly made of tomato or marinara sauce and can be completely meat free.
Red Wine Substitutes
Alcoholic Options include white wines such as Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Orvieto.
Non-Alcoholic Options include Red Wine Vinegar, Tomato Juice, or 2 TBS tomato paste + 1 cup beef broth. See here for additional options.
This spaghetti Bolognese reheats well in the microwave or on the stove top.
Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator, it’s best if eaten within three days.
Bolognese Sauce makes a great freezer food and is best if you can freeze it separately from the pasta.
To freeze, let it cool completely. Store it in a labeled airtight container. It’s best if you use is within 3 months.
Boil fresh pasta once ready to serve it.
Let it defrost in the refrigerator overnight if possible. Reheat in the microwave or on the stove top.
PSST: If you do freeze it with the spaghetti mixed in, it’s totally okay. I do it all the time. 😉
prep time: 10 MINUTEScook time: 1 HOURtotal time: 1 HOUR 10 MINUTES
SERVINGS: 5 tap or hover to scale
Traditional spaghetti Bolognese is easy to make has a perfect balance of flavors. You’ll love this classic Italian meat sauce!
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 celery rib, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
½ pound ground beef, 80% lean
6 oz. ground Italian sausage, sweet or spicy
1 cup red wine, see note 1
18 oz can ground/crushed tomatoes, see note 2
1 teaspoon fresh rosemary, or 1/4 tsp dry
1 teaspoon fresh sage, or 1/4 tsp dry
Salt/Pepper, to taste
12 oz. spaghetti, (3/4 of a 1 lb. box.)
Fresh parsley, to garnish
Parmesan cheese, to garnish
Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large saucepan.
Add the onions, carrots, and celery and cook until softened. About 5 minutes.
Add the ground beef and sausage. Cook and crumble until browned and cooked through, about 7-10 minutes. Add the garlic during the last minute.
Deglaze the pan with the wine and use a silicone spatula to “clean” the bottom of the pot.
Add the tomatoes and seasonings. Let simmer for one hour, partially covered.
Taste it and season with salt and pepper if desired.
Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain well. Use kitchen tongs to toss the spaghetti into the saucepan with the pasta sauce.
Garnish with fresh parsley and Parmesan cheese and serve!
Note 1: Chianti, Pinot Pior, and Merlot are the best wines for Bolognese sauce. (I’ve also used Cabernet Sauvignon.)
Substitutes for Red Wine in Bolognese Sauce:
Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Grigio or Orvieto.
Red Wine Vinegar, Tomato Juice, or 2 TBS tomato paste + 1 cup beef broth. See here for additional options.
Note 2: I use a full 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes when I make this recipe, you can adjust this based on your preference. Authentic Bolognese has less tomato sauce than this.
A bay leaf and a pinch of red pepper flakes may also be added if desired.
For creamy Bolognese sauce, Add 1 tablespoon of softened cream cheese to the sauce mixture.
Garlic Bread with Cheese and a side salad with Copycat Olive Garden Salad Dressing is perfect with this meal!
Calories: 575kcal, Carbohydrates: 63g, Protein: 24g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 8g, Cholesterol: 58mg, Sodium: 430mg, Potassium: 791mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 2258IU, Vitamin C: 13mg, Calcium: 81mg, Iron: 4mg