One of my favorite Italian pasta sauces in the world is Bolognese Sauce. It’s meaty, filling, and oh so satisfying, especially when paired with my favorite Italian pasta noodle – pappardelle noodles.
I love the texture of the pappardelle noodle. It’s a broad, flat noodle that’s similar to lasagna noodles (except much shorter). It has a nice bite and it just elevates bolognese sauce. If you can’t find pappardelle noodle at the store, fettuccini noodles would be a nice substitute.
Back to my homemade Bolognese Sauce! I absolutely love, love, love this sauce. It’s so rich, full of flavor, and slow simmered on the stove. This recipe uses store-bought pasta sauce – mostly because I was in a hurry and had no canned tomatoes or tomato paste in my house. However, if you have a fully stocked pantry, you can use canned tomatoes and tomato paste to make this recipe. You’ll just have to slow simmer it for 2-3 hours to reach the same consistency and depth of flavor.
Making Bolognese sauce is a labor of love. It requires a lot of patience! Even though I’ve quickened the simmering time by using store-bought pasta sauce, you’ll have to wait around a lot.
You have to wait for the beef fat to get re-absorbed into the meat mixture. You have to wait for the wine to reduce. Then, there is the slow simmering time. But try not to skip any of these steps – the result will be a meat sauce that is packed full of flavor and is so delicious that you’ll want to eat the entire pot in one day.
Bolognese Sauce is one of my specialities. Every since I discovered how to make it – with lots of trial and error (and once I totally burnt the bottom of the pan), my bolognese have gotten better and better. And TRUST ME – this recipe has been tried over and over again. It is SO good.
I hope you enjoy this Italian pasta sauce as much as I do. Happy eating!
Easy Homemade Bolognese Sauce using Store-Bought Pasta Sauce
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 6 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 carrot, peeled and shredded
- 1 lb ground beef
- 1 lb sweet Italian sausage
- 1 cup Chardonnay wine (or your favorite dry wine)
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 beef bouillon cube
- 1 jar (24 oz) pasta sauce
- 1 handful fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano), tied with string
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp sugar (or to taste)
- 1 tsp salt and pepper (or to taste)
- Heat oil in a dutch oven or large pot over medium heat. Add onion and cook for 2-3 minutes until the onion is softened and becomes translucent. Add the garlic and carrots and saute for another 1-2 minutes until the entire mixture is slightly orange.
- Add the ground beef and Italian sausage, breaking it up as it cooks. After the fat renders, leave the pan alone and don't stir for 5-8 minutes (depending on how fat your meat is). Wait to allow the fat to cook down almost completely.
- Add the wine, stirring and scraping the bottom of the pot. Wait another 5-10 minutes or so to allow the wine to cook down until it's been absorbed into the meat mixture.
- Add the water, bouillon cube, pasta sauce, fresh herbs, bay leaves, sugar, and salt and pepper. Cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the bouillon cube dissolves.
- Reduce the heat to low. Cover and allow the bolognese to gently simmer for another 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add more water if necessary to avoid burning (preferably pasta water).
- Serve over your favorite pasta and enjoy!