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Easy Homemade Bolognese Sauce using Store-Bought Pasta Sauce

A super easy and delicious homemade bolognese sauce using store-bought pasta sauce when you don't have any canned tomatoes on hand. This meat sauce and slowly simmered on the stove for one hour, and the result is to die for. So meaty and full of authentic Italian flavor.
Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Italian
Keyword Pasta Recipe
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour


  • 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!