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Bolognese Sauce with bucatini noodles for a cozy home-cooked meal idea.

Easy Date Night Bolognese Sauce

sara a.
An easy bolognese sauce that is perfect for a cozy night in.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 1 hr
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings


  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion yellow or white
  • 1/3 cup grated carrot
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped celery
  • salt & freshly cracked pepper
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • 1/4 cup red wine
  • 5 ounces ground beef best quality
  • 5 ounces mild Italian pork sausage
  • 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. dried mint
  • 2 cups your favorite marinara sauce
  • 1/2 cup whole milk or half and half / or cream*
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano divided
  • 8 ounces dried pasta noodles bucatini or pappardelle recommended


  • Heat olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, carrot, celery, and a pinch of salt. Cook until softened, about ten minutes.
  • Add minced garlic, stir, and cook one minute.
  • Pour in red wine, and cook until absorbed, about two minutes.
  • Add ground beef and Italian sausage, and sprinkle a healthy pinch of salt and pepper onto the meats. Cook until browned, breaking into very small pieces as they cook.
  • Pour in milk* and simmer for 3-4 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  • Stir in dried oregano, dried basil, crushed red pepper, dried mint, and marinara sauce. Taste the sauce, and season with salt and pepper if desired. Simmer the sauce, uncovered, for 40-45 minutes.** Stir occasionally and taste again to season if necessary.
  • Cook pasta according to package directions, minus one minute.
  • Transfer strained, cooked pasta noodles directly into the sauce.*** Stir in freshly chopped basil and half of the parmesan.
  • Serve hot with remaining parmesan sprinkled on top!


*If using half-and-half or heavy cream, decrease amount to 1/3 cup.
**This sauce can simmer for up to 2 1/2 hours if time allows!
***Use a slotted spoon (or strainer spoon) to transfer cooked pasta directly from the pasta water into the bolognese sauce.  If a little water gets into the sauce, that is totally fine.  The starches from the pasta water can help the bolognese sauce thicken!
Keyword Bolognese Sauce
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