Fast and Simple Bolognese

Fast and Simple Bolognese

This bolognese is all about the simplicity of a very elegant and comforting dinner that the kids will eat too. A traditional bolognese is done with a can of crushed tomatoes and requires a lot more simmering time. Instead, I am going to call for a jar of high quality tomato sauce to cut the time down without compromising the flavor. If you choose to do this in a crock pot or pressure cooker, you may want to opt for the milder canned crushed tomatoes.

I love how the little bits of meat get stuck inside the indents of the radiator pasta. It lends to getting a taste of both in one bite. If we are feeling carb conscious, we will sometimes eat this over steamed spaghetti squash, but the kids always get the carbs.

The Hacks:

  • Store-bought tomato sauce
  • Mirepoix (pre-diced carrots, celery and onion all in one container)

Mirepoix Mix

  • It has been bailing me out of many busy weeknight dinners for years.
  • If you are going to Trader Joes, stock up on this stuff. You can’t beat the price for the convenience and time saved in the kitchen. It’s great in soups, stuffing and this pasta dish. If you are like me, and not very close to a TJ’s, you can bulk buy and freeze it to store for months.
  • You can also buy this at whole foods and Amazon prime delivery.
  • It’s sold frozen or in the pre-cut veggie section in most markets.

Fast and Simple Bolognese

October 11, 2020
: 5
: 5 min
: 25 min
: 30 min
: Easy


  • 5 servings of radiator pasta
  • 3 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1 Tbsp minced garlic (or three cloves)
  • 1 celery stalk, coarsely chopped
  • 2 carrots, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound ground chuck beef
  • 1 jar of high quality tomato sauce
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf Italian parsley, finely cut
  • 8 fresh basil leaves, finely cut
  • s + p to taste
  • Step 1 Let pasta water come to a boil. Meanwhile, in a deep skillet, add olive oil and wait until its almost smoking, then add the onion and garlic and saute over medium heat until the onions until onions are shiny and translucent (about 7 minutes).
  • Step 2 Add the celery and carrot and saute for 5 minutes. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
  • Step 3 Raise heat to high and add the ground beef. Saute, and stay at the stove top to stir frequently and break up any large lumps. When the meat is no longer pink, add the tomato sauce, parsley and basil and cook over medium low heat for 5 minutes more. Serve bolognese over pasta and finish with Pecorino Romano. Salt and pepper to taste.


I have to give credit Giada De Laurentiis for teaching me how to make a classic bolognese sauce. You will find my version is very close to hers with a couple of tweaks to make it faster and a little more plant forward. I hope you enjoy it!