Quick Bolognese Sauce

There’s a million variations and the classic calls for a mirepoix, but what if you don’t want to bother with all the chopping, the longer prep, etc? What if it’s 7:15 and you want to be eating by 8?

Here’s your plan, then.

  • Olive oil
  • 1 pound lean ground beef (I use lean in sauces; 80/10 is for burgers)
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • 1 TBS dried oregano
  • 1/8 TSP cayenne pepper
  • Red wine, about a cup or so (I had an open bottle of inexpensive port, so I cut it 50/50 with water
  • 1 large (28 oz) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 small can of chopped black olives
  • 1/4 TSP nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 TBS salt and 1 TSP pepper
  • Grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil for serving

Drizzle a couple tablespoons of olive oil in a pan, heat on medium, add your ground beef and sauté for a few minutes—just until the pink is gone. Deglaze with half your wine and add the garlic, oregano, and cayenne.

Sauté for a few more minutes, then add the tomatoes, paste, olives, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Cover, bring to a simmer on medium heat; then uncover, add the rest of the wine and simmer for about 10 minutes. If bubbles splatter, add water as necessary (1/4-1/2 cup) to thin it a bit.

IMG 2695

Once the simmer is done, get your pasta of choice on the boil (I used gluten free, corn & rice-based spaghetti) and finish off the sauce with the basil and  cream. Let it continue to simmer on medium low as your pasta is boiling.


It’s very much worth it. Give a try. 

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  1. Darren on October 8, 2014 at 04:00

    Looks Delicious!

  2. Gina on October 8, 2014 at 09:24

    I’m going to try this, minus the beef and with soy milk for the cream*. It sounds really good.

    *Not a word from anyone who uses fake pasta.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 8, 2014 at 10:25

      Well, Gina, I luv ya gril, but meat is kinda the point.

      Knock yourself out.

      BTW, tossing you a bone, when I did MovNat way back with Erwan and it was strict Paleo for a week in camp, there were always various Vitamix sauces with the various meats and they were bomb. I asked Erwin: “I told her to go to vegan sites.”

      There is definitely crossover.

    • Sheri on October 9, 2014 at 16:23

      LOL! But it’s okay to use fake milk laden with Round-up and estrogenic activity!

  3. Remnant on October 9, 2014 at 02:24

    The following post brought a smile to my face and, for some reason, I have to bring it to Richard’s attention.


  4. Pauline on October 10, 2014 at 12:44

    I followed your recipe and we had this for supper this week. Absolutely delicious!

  5. FrenchFry on October 15, 2014 at 13:46

    Hey Richard,

    Have you tried organic spelt spaghetti ? Been toying around with spelt lately, it causes no issue that I can feel. Spelt gluten is actually very brittle and easily degraded by heat and mastication, unlike wheat gluten. So unless you’re celiac, spelt FTW :)

    You can also use whole spelt “perls”, just like rice. It has more nutrition though.

    • Richard Nikoley on October 15, 2014 at 14:51

      I haven’t.

      “Spelt” conjures up visions of white, blond, dreadlocked and tattooed girls at the checkout counter of Whole Foods. :)

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