Dec 20, 2015

Bolognese Sauce over Pappardelle Pasta

Prep Time: 20 mins
Cook Time: 6 hrs
This meat sauce is slowly simmered over hours and filled with beef, pork, veal and sausage for an extremely flavorful sauce that will get you through a chilly winter! I love serving this sauce over pappardelle pasta.

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Bolognese is such a thick and hearty sauce it is perfect for winter or rainy fall days. This particular recipe is amazing because of the variety of meats that go into the sauce. The combination of beef, pork and veal gives you a little bit of varying flavor. This is a family recipe – my uncle has been making this sauce for years. It’s one of his most requested recipes!

Bolognese Sauce over Pappardelle Pasta

What’s in This Bolognese?

  • Ground beef
  • Ground pork
  • Italian sausage
  • Ground veal
  • Onion
  • Celery
  • Carrot
  • Spices
  • Red wine
  • Tomatoes
Bolognese sauce over Pappardelle recipe from Cooking with Cocktail Rings

Key Ingredients in This Recipe

  • Beef – I use a blend of 80% lean/ 20% fat ground beef. The fat adds flavor to the sauce while also keeping the meat moist.
  • Pork – Ground pork typically comes from minced pork shoulder meat and is incredibly versatile. I like the flavor using both pork and beef adds to the meatball sub recipe.
  • Veal – Veal is a lean meat made from veal trimmings which makes it the perfect pairing to the 80/20 blend beef. Veal has a delicate flavor and velvety texture. While the veal can be substituted with additional beef, I recommend adding it for its unique flavor.
  • Sausage – I use hot Italian sausage with the casings removed in this recipe though you can swap it with mild Italian. The hot adds just a bit of heat. I use a wooden spoon to break up the sausage as it cooks in the pan.
  • Mirepoix – The vegetables that are sautéed as the base of the bolognese to create a flavorful foundation are carrots, celery and onion. This combination is known as sofrito in Italian and mirepoix in French.
  • Red wine – Red wine rounds out the flavor of this sauce. Use a dry red wine for bolognese since it won’t overpower the dish by making it too sweet. As the wine evaporates you are left with the flavor of the wine. While I will use just about any red wine in a pinch I prefer cooking with pinot noir. Never cook with a wine you wouldn’t drink!
  • Whole peeled tomatoes – Canned whole peeled tomatoes are extremely versatile. The tomatoes are picked when ripe then cooked and peeled before they are canned and packed in tomato juice or tomato puree. They have a rich tomato flavor perfect for tomato sauces. Look for cans with no preservatives – this way they break down quickly into the sauce.
  • Pappardelle – These wide, flat noodles resembling thick ribbons are made from an egg yolk-heavy dough and originate from Tuscany. Pappardelle is ideal for rich meat filled sauces like this bolognese or creamy sauces such as this tomato and bacon pasta. It’s often sold in packaged nests or fresh in refrigerated cases. 
Bolognese sauce over Pappardelle recipe from Cooking with Cocktail Rings

How to Make Bolognese

  1. Cook the meat in batches. Heat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Cook the beef, pork, veal and sausages in small batches in the sauté pan. Set aside meat in a large bowl after browning.
  2. Sauté the vegetables. Return pot to medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through.  Sauté the onion, celery, and carrots in olive oil until very soft and slightly light brown.
  3. Reduce the red wine. Stir in the garlic, oregano and basil, and continue to sauté 3 to 5 minutes. Add the red wine and reduce until the vegetables are almost dry, about 15 minutes.
  4. Add the meat and tomatoes. Stir in the sautéed meat. Add the cans of tomatoes with their liquid and 1 cup of water, stirring to combine.
  5. Cook the bolognese. Cook over medium to medium-low heat for 4 to 6 hours. Stir frequently so that it does not burn.
  6. Add Parmesan and season. When done cooking, stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The sauce may need a little sugar to adjust the acidity.
  7. Cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add the salt and bring back to the boil. Pour in the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and return the pasta to the pot. Ladle in the enough of the Bolognese to coat the pasta.
  8. Serve. To serve, scoop pasta into warmed bowls and serve. Freeze leftover sauce in sealed bags and store until next use.
Bolognese sauce over Pappardelle recipe from Cooking with Cocktail Rings closeup

How to Freeze Bologenese

  • Make the sauce ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.
  • Add to resealable or airtight plastic bags and store flat until frozen (to make the most of freezer space).
  • It is a great sauce to freeze in small batches and thaw as needed.

Tips and Tricks for This Recipe

  • Be patient! Cook the sauce low and slow.
  • Use multiple types of meat to build the best flavor for bolognese.
  • Cook the meat and vegetables separate and combine before simmering the sauce. Working in batches keeps the meat from steaming – the goal is to brown it.

Other Recipes to Try

If you enjoy this recipe, I recommend checking out some of these:

Bolognese Sauce over Pappardelle Pasta

Print Pin
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 6 hrs
Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • pounds (80/20) ground beef
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground veal
  • 1 pound hot Italian sausage, removed from casing
  • 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 cups finely diced yellow onion
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 1 cup finely diced carrot
  • ½ cup sliced garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • tablespoons dried basil
  • 3 cups dry red wine
  • 2 (28-ounce) cans whole tomatoes, with their liquid
  • 1 (28-ounce) can pureed tomatoes
  • ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt, as needed
  • Freshly ground black pepper, a needed
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, if needed, to adjust acidity
  • 2 pounds Pappardelle pasta

Instructions:

  • Heat a large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Cook the beef, pork, veal and sausages in small batches in the sauté pan. After each batch is browned, set it aside in a large bowl.
  • Return pot to medium heat, add the olive oil and heat through.  Sauté the onion, celery, and carrots in olive oil until very soft and slightly light brown.
  • Stir in the garlic, oregano and basil, and continue to sauté 3 to 5 minutes. Add the red wine and reduce until the vegetables are almost dry, about 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the sautéed meat. Add the cans of tomatoes with their liquid and 1 cup of water, stirring to combine.
  • Cook over medium to medium-low heat for 4 to 6 hours and stir frequently so that it does not burn.
  • When done cooking, stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper. The sauce may need a little sugar to adjust the acidity.
  • Bring a large pot of water to the boil; add the salt and bring back to the boil. Pour in the pasta and cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente, about 10 minutes. Drain and return the pasta to the pot. Ladle in the enough of the Bolognese to coat the pasta.
  • To serve, scoop pasta into warmed bowls and serve. Any leftover sauce can be frozen in sealed bags and stored until next use.

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  1. Made this and it was so delicious! Even my very picky daughter LOVED it! Recipe was easy to follow,