September 2, 2022

Bolognese Sauce

The Quick Way



When my kids were ages 3, 5, and 7, I struggled with having time to cook. My solution was to figure out how I could make the authentic Italian and French dishes I had been making for decades in less time—without sacrificing taste or quality. This Bolognese recipe was one of my first experiments at short-cutting recipes and has served us well for 13 years. In fact, it’s so good I may never go back to the more complicated version. This recipe also includes a tip on how to mince the onions and vegetables in seconds. This kitchen hack will help you save time with many other recipes. 

  • Author: Caterina De Falco
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30-40 minutes
  • Total Time: 50-60 minutes



1-2 tbsp of olive oil

1 onion

3-4 cloves fresh garlic

1 stalk of celery

1 carrot

4-5 tbsp butter

1 pound of ground beef

1 pound ground pork or lamb or half of each

3-4 strips of bacon

1 cup white wine

1/4 cup tomato paste

1 cup milk

Fresh parsley about 1/3 cup

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper

1 pound tagliatelle pasta


1. Mince the onion, carrot, and celery. Tip: cut the carrots, onion, and celery into large chunks, then place them one at a time into a mini food processor and pulse about 5-8 times. You will have perfectly minced vegetables in seconds, saving you a lot of time.

2. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a pan over medium heat. 

3. Sauté the onions, carrots, and celery until they soften and the onion is transparent.

4. Dice the bacon into small pieces.

5. Add the bacon to the pan and sauté for 2 - 3 minutes. 

6. Add meat to the pan and sauté for about 5 - 8 minutes. Use a spatula to break up the pieces. 

7. Add wine, tomato paste, milk, butter, salt, and pepper.

8. Let everything simmer for at least 20 minutes or until thickened.

Serve with tagliatelle pasta or pasta of your choice. Cook the pasta al dente for a more flavorful and easier to digest pasta. 

This Bolognese sauce is even better the next day, so that you can make it ahead of time. Even better, if you make a batch and freeze it, you will have it on hand for easy last-minute dinners and a simple dinner idea for company. 


When you make Bolognese sauce, make extra. Then freeze the extra sauce in plastic baggies or souper cube containers. Take it out to thaw in the refrigerator in the morning, or place it in a pan, cover it with a lid, and warm over medium heat. You can prepare dinner in just the time it takes to cook the pasta.

Click here to see how easy it is to use the Souper Cubes to freeze your bolognese sauce. 

 I often cook "au pif," as we say in France, without an exact recipe.  You’ll often find guidelines in many recipes versus exact quantities.  Write to me here if you have any questions about the recipes.

Copyright 2019-2023, Return to the Table by Caterina De Falco, All Rights Reserved

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