Go Back
+ servings
overhead shot of weeknight bolognese in white bowl

Weeknight Bolognese

This weeknight bolognese is a quick and easy Italian meat sauce that is packed with flavor but takes way less time than a traditional bolognese.
Course Pasta
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Servings 8
Calories 414kcal
Author Ryan Beck


  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ sweet onion, diced
  • 1 lb lean ground sirloin
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 (29 oz can) tomato puree
  • 2 tablespoon tomato paste
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon dried nutmeg
  • ¼ cup fresh basil, chopped
  • cup heavy cream
  • ¾ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 lb orecchiette


  • Heat 2 tablespoon of olive oil in large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high and add ground sirloin, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon. Cook for about 5-7 minutes or until the meat is cooked through and beginning to brown.
  • Stir in garlic, oregano, thyme and red pepper flakes and cook for an additional minute. Pour wine in to scrape up any brown bits. Add the tomato puree, tomato paste salt and pepper, stirring to combine. Bring to a boil and then lower the heat, simmering for 10 minutes.
  • While sauce is simmering bring pot of salted water to boil and cook pasta according to directions.
  • With pasta cooking finish the sauce by adding the nutmeg, basil and cream. Drain pasta and add to sauce, stirring in Parmesan cheese. Top with some Parmesan and basil.


  • Add cold oil to a cold skillet and let heat up to proper temperature before adding the onion. You’ll know it is ready when the oil starts to shimmer.
  • You can replace ground sirloin with ground chuck.
  • Use quality dry red wine that you’d be willing to drink. The flavor of the sauce comes from the wine. Chianti or Pinot Noir are best.
  • Cook the pasta until just al dente as the pasta will cook more when tossing in sauce.
  • Use freshly grated Parmesan to finish the sauce. Never buy pre-shredded Parmesan cheese as it contains wood pulp. Blocks of Parmesan cheese are also cheaper.


Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 44g | Protein: 21g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 19mg | Sodium: 281mg | Potassium: 187mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 650IU | Vitamin C: 9.1mg | Calcium: 120mg | Iron: 1.1mg