Quick and Easy Bolognese

Bolognese sauce, or ragu alla  bolognese, made its first documented debut in Pellegrino Artusi‘s cookbook of 1891.  This thick, full-bodied meat sauce originated in Bologna (northern Italy), and has become so popular that in 1982 the Italian Academy of Cuisine registered a recipe for authentic ragù alla bolognese with the Bologna Chamber of Commerce.  There are many variations of this sauce but I made a basic version that is anything but.  This recipe yields a large batch but it freezes well, so don’t be afraid to put it in single serve containers and save it for later. Buon appetito!


  • 4 lbs. ground beef
  • 2 280z. cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 medium yellow onions (diced)
  • 4 celery stalks (finely chopped)
  • 4 carrots (peeled and finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup fresh, flat leaf parsley (chopped)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & pepper
  • 4 medium/large cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1.2 cup fresh basil (chopped)
  • Parmesan cheese


  • Place onions, carrots, celery and garlic in a deep frying pan (approx. 4″), coat with olive oil, season with salt & pepper (to taste) and saute until the onions they have softened.
  • Add ground beef to the pan and cook until completely browned (stir & turn over the beef often).
  • Add the crushed tomatoes & parsley, stir well and bring it to a simmer for about 5-7 minutes.
  • Ladle over pasta, top with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil.

This sauce is also delicious over spaghetti squash!

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