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A bowl of bolognese with a garnish of fresh basil, on top of a green linen tablecloth.
5 from 4 votes

Best Bolognese Sauce

This flavorful and easy bolognese recipe is our FAVORITE pasta dish! The sauce tastes as though it has been marinating on the stove for 12 hours. (Spoiler alert... this recipe only takes 40 minutes to make, from start to finish!)
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 30 mins
Total Time: 40 mins
Servings: 8 servings


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 16 oz Italian sausage - casings removed (see notes!)
  • 4 garlic cloves - minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes - if you're really sensitive to heat and you don't want any "kick" in the sauce, reduce to 1/8 tsp
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 28 oz crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 lb pasta - small noodle such as small shell or orecchiette
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil - chopped and lightly packed
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water - to make the pasta more saucy at the end


  • Heat a 12 inch skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil, Italian sausage and ground beef. Cook the meat until no longer pink, crumbling it up as you go. Once cooked, drain any excess grease.
  • Stir in the garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute. 
  • Add the chicken broth to the skillet to deglaze the pan, stir to scrape up any browned bits from the bottom. Cook until the broth has reduced by half.
  • Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and simmer for 10 minutes. 
  • While that’s simmering, cook the pasta to al dente.
  • After the sauce has simmered for 10 minutes stir in the nutmeg, fresh basil, cream, and parmesan. Simmer for another 10 minutes. 
  • Drain the pasta and reserve ½ cup of the pasta water to use at the end to make the sauce more saucy (if needs be). Add the pasta to the sauce mixing to combine. If you need the sauce to be more saucy, add a splash of reserved pasta water. 
  • Serve warm with a garnish of fresh basil and parmesan.


I have made this recipe using 16 oz Italian sausage AND a separate time using 8 oz ground beef and 8 oz Italian sausage. Both times the recipe was absolutely incredible! So I'll leave it up to you to decide what you want to do for your meat. 
Use fresh basil! Makes a world of difference.
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for 5 days.
Recipe adapted from Ina Garten


Calories: 533kcal (27%), Carbohydrates: 52g (17%), Protein: 21g (42%), Fat: 27g (42%), Saturated Fat: 11g (55%), Cholesterol: 64mg (21%), Sodium: 1257mg (52%), Potassium: 656mg (19%), Fiber: 4g (16%), Sugar: 7g (8%), Vitamin A: 561IU (11%), Vitamin C: 14mg (17%), Calcium: 172mg (17%), Iron: 3mg (17%)