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A bowl of pasta with bolognese sauce and fresh basil leaves.

Easy Bolognese Sauce

This easy bolognese sauce comes together in less than an hour and tastes like it's been simmering away all day. Even your Italian grandma will love it!

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Prep 15 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Total 45 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 662 kcal
Author Michelle


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 8 ounces lean ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground Italian sausage
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 28 ounces crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound orecchiette pasta
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and ground sausage and cook, crumbling the meat as it cooks, for 5 to 7 minutes, until cooked through and no longer pink. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute.
  2. Pour the wine into the skillet, stir to scrape up any browned bits, and cook until reduced by half. Add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, and pepper, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat to maintain a slow simmer, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil, and cook the pasta according to the directions on the box.
  4. While the pasta cooks, finish the sauce. Add the nutmeg, basil, and cream to the sauce and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thickened. When the pasta is cooked, drain and toss with the sauce. Add the grated Parmesan cheese and toss well. Serve with additional Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

Recipe Notes

  • You can omit the sausage and use all ground beef. To keep the sauce from being too greasy, I recommend using a lean ground beef, somewhere in the 90% to 93% range.
  • I like either sweet or mild Italian sausage in this recipe.
  • A dry red wine works well in this recipe, i.e. cabernet sauvignon, merlot or pinot noir. If you prefer to not cook with wine, add a splash of water or chicken broth to deglaze the pan and scrape up the browned bits, then proceed with the recipe.
  • You can use any small pasta in place of the orecchiette; small shells work well, too!
  • Romano cheese can be used instead of the Parmesan cheese.
  • This recipe doubles well if you’re cooking for a large crowd.
  • Freezer-Friendly: Cook the sauce and cool completely, then transfer to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up 4 months.
Nutrition Facts
Easy Bolognese Sauce
Amount Per Serving
Calories 662 Calories from Fat 234
% Daily Value*
Fat 26g40%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 73mg24%
Sodium 1820mg79%
Potassium 930mg27%
Carbohydrates 70g23%
Fiber 5g21%
Sugar 8g9%
Protein 29g58%
Vitamin A 675IU14%
Vitamin C 14.9mg18%
Calcium 196mg20%
Iron 4.9mg27%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.