Weeknight Bolognese Sauce

Weeknight Bolognese Sauce

This is a simple yet delicious sauce that’s versatile and goes well with many different things. It’s easy enough to make on a random weeknight, but would be great for a special occasion as well. The red wine adds richness and depth of flavor to what would normally be a regular meat sauce.

So set aside your bottle of Ragu or Prego today and try to make your own sauce! I promise it’ll be so worth it.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound ground beef or pork
  • 4 gloves minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 cups dry red wine, divided
  • 1 (28-ounce) can crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, optional
  • 1 Tbsp honey, optional
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for serving, optional


  1. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground meat and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat has lost its pink color and has started to brown.
  2. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute.
  3. Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits.
  4. Add the tomatoes, salt and pepper to taste, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer uncovered for at least an hour until deep maroon color and thick.
  5. Add the nutmeg, basil, honey and cream (if desired), and the remaining 1/4 cup wine to the sauce and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.
  6. Serve over pasta, couscous, quinoa, veggie noodles, whatever your heart desires!

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa.

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