Pasta Bolognese

Pasta Bolognese in grey bowl with fork and spoon

This Pasta Bolognese is filled with lots of fresh vegetables and is full of deep flavors. It’s thick, delicious and hearty! Comfort food at its finest.  

So, you may remember from previous blog posts, in late October, Ben and I went to Mexico City! We were so very excited to experience a new culture, especially during Dia De Los Muertos. We were there for about 10 days. It was an amazing experience! We learned so much and ate tons of good food. However, social media doesn’t always tell you the full story. Like how we got really sick from a taco tour and only ate saltines in bed for 3 days straight because we were so sick.

bowl of Pasta Bolognese with glass of red wine

Yeah. It was rough. It all went back to this taco tour we went on. We went to a street food vendor, and realized only AFTER we had eaten our delicious tacos that the same man who cooked the tacos (and touched the tortillas numerous times) also handled the money. In traveling, that’s a big no-no.

So, Montezuma’s Revenge hit us hard. After three straight days of laying in bed watching Netflix, we finally made it back out into the world. Thankfully our stay was so long, we were fine for 3 days, sick for 3 days and then well again for 3 days! However, we wanted nothing to do with real Mexican food. So, we stumbled upon the best Italian restaurant EVER. I ordered the pasta bolognese. It came with thick, large pasta noodles and the most flavorful sauce I could ever dream of. I knew immediately after the first bite that I wanted to try and remake the sauce for the blog when I got home.

bolognese sauce in dutch oven with wooden spoon

So here it is! This Pasta Bolognese is amazingly flavorful, nourishing, homey, and just classic comfort food. I love the way each ingredient compliments one another – the crushed tomatoes balances out the acid with the carrots, the fire roasted tomatoes and the basil work well, the carrots, celery and onion really are scattered throughout the delicious sauce but never in huge chunks – it all comes together wonderfully.

close up shot of pasta bolognese

Pasta Bolognese Tips:

The longer you let the bolognese sauce simmer in your dutch oven or pot, the better. The flavors will continue to develop. It’s kind of like chili, it gets better with time.

full shot of bolognese sauce in dutch oven

If you don’t like carrots, I would suggest you take either dice them extremely finely or omit the from the recipe in general. The carrot flavor wasn’t overwhelming to me at all – but my husband, who isn’t the biggest fan of carrots, said he would have preferred one less carrot. He sure didn’t mind eating it all though – JUST SAYIN.

Feel free to use whatever type of pasta noodles you’d like. I prefer long thick ones – like fettuccine or pappardelle. I always prefer big noodles: see Butternut Squash Fettuccine Alfredo or my Charred Tomato and Zucchini Fettuccine with BaconI also ate this with rotini for leftovers and it was amazing. The sauce tends to coat whatever noodles it’s in the bowl with. The noodles are just the vehicle for the amazing flavor of the bolognese.

pasta fork twirl with pasta bolognese

The bolognese sauce itself is really thick, delicious and hearty. If you want some extra spice to it, I would recommend using ½ pound of ground beef and ½ pound of spicy Italian sausage.

And of course, I also made sure to garnish the Pasta Bolognese with lots of parmesan cheese, fresh basil and red pepper flakes. Lastly, this pasta bolognese goes amazingly with a glass of dry red wine and crusty bread. 

I hope you guys love this Pasta Bolognese as much as I do! It’s just over the top flavorful, the perfect meal for anytime of the week – especially in the cozy Winter months.

two hands holding bowl of pasta bolognese

Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagram and tag me with your photo! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make it, be sure to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Xo!

5 from 1 vote

Pasta Bolognese

This Pasta Bolognese is filled with lots of fresh vegetables and is full of deep flavors. It’s thick, delicious and hearty! It’s comfort food at its finest.  

Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Keyword bolognese sauce, easy bolognese, pasta bolognese
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 3 hours 25 minutes
Servings 8 people
Author Haylie


  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced finely
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium carrots, diced finely
  • 2 celery stalks, diced finely
  • 1 lb. ground beef
  • 1 28 oz. can of crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 14 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (i used a merlot)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 lb pasta of choice (i used fettuccine)
  • lots of salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup parmesan cheese, divided (for garnish, optional)
  • fresh basil and red pepper flakes for garnish (optional)


  1. Finely dice your carrots, celery, onion and garlic. Set aside. Heat a large pot or dutch oven on medium heat. Add in your olive oil. Add in your carrots, onions and celery. Season with salt and pepper and cook for about 4 minutes and then add in your garlic. Cook for an additional 1-2 minutes or until the garlic is fragrant. 

  2. Add in your ground beef. Break up the beef and cook until fully brown, should take about 7-10 minutes.

  3. Next, add in your two cans of tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, basil, thyme, milk and your wine. Stir to combine. Cover and cook over medium low heat for 2-3 house, stirring occasionally. 

  4. As it cooks, be sure to taste as you go along and adjust your seasonings if needed by adding salt and pepper. 

  5. When the bolognese sauce is finished, cook your pasta noodles. Bring a large pot of salted water to a rolling boil and cook your pasta according to the package directions. 

  6. Drain your pasta when it's finished cooking. Divide it amongst bowls and top with the bolognese sauce. Grate on some parmesan, fresh basil and red pepper flakes if desired for garnish. Eat while hot and enjoy! 

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. 5 stars
    Oh my gosh Haylie, that sounds like a horrible 3 days. I’ve been ill like that on vacation and it is not fun! But I’m glad you guys still had fun and found a lovely Italian restaurant! Food is such an important part of travelling. As for this pasta, it looks so flavourful and hearty. Perfect comfort food! Happy Friday!

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