Everyone has their own version of a homemade bolognese sauce. Okay, maybe not *everyone*. But many people I know have some bolognese sauce they throw together at home. Ladle some over a bowl of hot pasta and it is the ultimate comfort dish.
Interestingly, I have British friends who say they are making “spag-bog” or “spag-bol” for dinner (spaghetti and bolognese). I suppose “bol” and “bog” are easier to say that bolognese. Admittedly, they are also a whole lot easier to spell and more fun to say.
Anyway, this is my “bol” recipe…Beefy Tomato Bolognese Sauce. It has evolved quite a bit throughout the years and I remember making it for the first time over 20 years ago. I can’t remember what I even put in it, although I’m sure there was ground beef and tomato sauce at the very least. At the time, I thought it was pretty good. But as I grew older, and my tastes refined (i.e. I got pickier), I eventually developed a recipe that my family and I love.
Beefy Tomato Bolognese Sauce is, obviously, great for topping pasta. I also like a hearty portion of it on top of roasted vegetables. It is YUMMY. This sauce cooks up great in a slow cooker, but this recipe is the stovetop version. Either way, you get a tasty, hearty beefy tomato sauce. This recipe also makes quite a lot which is perfect for freezing in zip top bags for those nights I don’t have much energy to cook dinner.
This sauce is not only (as the title suggests) beefy and tomato-y, it is full of flavor. The deep flavor comes from letting the sauce simmer slowly on the stovetop and all the ingredients melding together. You can whip it up quickly and serve it right away….totally okay to do that. However, you will miss out on the robust flavor that comes from having some patience and letting the sauce do its thing. That’s one lesson I learned in developing a bolognese sauce…slow simmering makes for better flavor.
One thing you’ll notice is that I start with a jarred organic pasta sauce. I have made bolognese sauce many times before with basic tomato sauce as the base. However, I find that the jarred sauce gives it a better flavor starting point, and part of the work is being done for me. Walnut Acres Organic jarred sauce has been a reliable brand for me, but use whichever organic sauce you like best. I like using organic sauces that contain good ingredients that I know and can pronounce, and no preservatives. I also add in chopped onions and carrots and seasonings since using the jarred sauce alone isn’t the right flavor either.
So…what’s your favorite pasta? I love linguine, but orzo is a close second. Serve it with a fresh salad or some simple steamed broccoli and you have a great meal.
Alternatively, this Beefy Tomato Bolognese Sauce is also tasty over hot polenta with some freshly grated Parmesan. My boys and I love to eat it this way as well. Add some wilted spinach or grilled sliced mushrooms or roasted veggies? Fabulous!
Do you enjoy a good spag-bol meal? Do you have a favorite go-to bolognese recipe? If not, you’ll have to try my recipe and serve it with your favorite pasta shape. Be sure to leave a comment below!
Beefy Tomato Bolognese Sauce
- 1 kg ground chuck
- 2 tbs olive oil
- 1 medium onion diced fine
- 2 medium carrots diced
- 3 cloves garlic minced
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 3 23 oz. jars organic pasta sauce (I like Walnut Acres Organic Olive Oil & Garlic, but use whichever organic sauce you prefer)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat large pot over medium heat. Add oil and saute onions and carrots until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Add ground chuck and cook through.
- Add salt and pepper and stir.
- Add pasta sauce and mix well.
- Once sauce starts to bubble, reduce heat to low and simmer for about 1 hour, lid slightly ajar.
- Add salt and pepper to taste.
In Your Kitchen:If you plan to freeze portions in zip top bags, let the sauce cool before storing in the refrigerator overnight. Then spoon the chilled sauce into the zip top bags and freeze.
If you make this recipe, share your photo on Facebook or Instagram and tag me @dayinthekitchen!
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