A meat sauce made quickly and served over pasta is a champion of home cooks everywhere. It’s a fast, tasty, and filling way to stretch a pound of ground meat to serve an entire household. Who doesn’t love a meat sauce? Now that you’re stuck at home and likely have more than 20 minutes to get dinner on the table, it’s time to make bolognese sauce. It’s also a meat sauce, cooked over many hours, and the depth of flavor is out of this world. Today in Applestone in the Kitchen, we’re suggesting you serve this simple bolognese sauce with pasta. If you happen to have lasagna noodles and want to make a traditional lasagna with your bolognese, knock yourself out. 

If you have any cooking questions — related to bolognese or anything else —  please reach out. We love answering questions especially about ingredient substitutions and, of course, meat. Keep washing your hands!

Bolognese Sauce

Cooking Time: 3 ½ hours to 4 hours

Yield: 2 quarts


2 pounds ground beef, or any ground meat you have available

1 yellow onion, diced small

2 celery stalks, diced small

4 carrots, diced small

5 cloves garlic, diced small

1 cup red wine

4 cups tomato puree, if you don’t have puree, you can puree canned whole tomatoes, mix some tomato paste with water, or even use canned tomato soup

1 cup milk

1 cup any kind of stock or water

1 tablespoon butter

1 ½ tablespoons cooking oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Pasta for serving


1. In a skillet large enough to make bolognese, heat cooking oil over medium heat, add ground beef. When beef is browned, stir in butter, and cook until foaming, about 2 to 3 minutes.

2. Add onion, carrot, and celery, stir until well coated in fat, then let cook 4 to 5 minutes until onions are translucent. Add garlic, stir until well coated in fat, then let cook 2 to 3 minutes until fragrant.

3. Add red wine, let cook about 3 minutes. Add stock and tomato puree, bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer. Stir in milk, then leave to cook uncovered on low heat for about 3 hours, stirring every twenty minutes or so to avoid burning, until sauce is thickened.

4. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve over pasta.


Cool your bolognese fully before storing. Bolognese in a sealed container keeps for a week in the fridge. A smell test and an eye check is never a bad idea with leftovers.  If you freeze it, you can reheat in a pan over low heat until evenly heated, though you may need to adjust the seasoning.