Go Back

Pasta Bolognese


  • 1 lb. lean ground beef (I often substitute ground venison)
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • 4 cloves minced garlic (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 cups dry red wine
  • 1 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 3/4 lb. dried pasta such as penne, orecchiette, or small shells
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese plus extra for serving


  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet, add the ground meat, and cook over medium heat (breaking the meat apart) until the meat has browned.  Add the oregano, garlic, red pepper flakes, and 1 cup of the red wine.  Stir to scrape up any browned meat pieces, and add the tomatoes, tomato paste, 1/2 tablespoon salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons pepper.  Stir to combine, bring to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Bring a large pot of water to boil, add 1 tablespoon salt, a splash of oil, and the pasta.  Cook the pasta according to package directions.
  • Meanwhile, add the nutmeg, basil, cream, and remaining 1/4 cup wine to the sauce and simmer for 10 minutes, stirring periodically until the sauce has thickened.  When the pasta is done, drain and pour into a large serving bowl.  Add the sauce and Parmesan, and toss well.  Serve hot with extra Parmesan on the side.