I had never really tried my hand at making this classic pasta dish from scratch, which is mind blowing in hindsight, because now this beef bolognese is one of my favorite meals to make. From birthdays and gatherings, to even just a cool fall night at home – bolognese is my go-to special occasion meal because it’s an absolute labor of love. Also, the way that the smell of garlic and tomato sauce fills the air is only second best to the taste. It’s an experience all of it’s own, and one that I’ve come to love. I can’t wait for you to try this one, I’m confident it will be love at first bite.
A COMFORT MEAL CLASSIC
Who doesn’t love a good comfort meal? Bolognese in general is one of those dishes that sounds more complicated than it actually is. It’s a great dish to serve for a large group, or to make and enjoy for a few days on your own.
All of the flavors come together and compliment each other so nicely – the bone broth, white wine vinegar (yes, vinegar!), veggies, crushed tomatoes, all the Italian seasonings, and of course, the primary ingredient, ground beef – it’s just so deliciously hearty.
What I love about this classic comfort meal is that it’s a good balance of all the macronutrients – protein, fats and carbs. Bonus points for the little bit of added nutrients you get from the veggies this recipe calls for. If you want to bump up the veggie intake with this dish, serve with a simple side salad. Like I said, it will be love at first bite, and I just know it’ll be a dinner we make time and time again. Let me know what you think if you try it!
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- White Onion
- Organic Ground Beef
- Beef Bone Broth
- White Wine Vinegar
- Canned Crushed Tomatoes
- Tomato Paste
- Garlic Powder
- Sea Salt
- Ground Pepper
- Unsweetened Almond Milk
HOW TO MAKE BEEF BOLOGNESE
First, let’s get prepped to make the job a bit easier. Peel your carrots, rinse the veggies, and then let’s get ready to chop. Finely dice the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Then heat a large skillet over medium heat, adding olive oil once it’s warm. Once the skillet is hot add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic and sauté for 10-12 minutes, stirring every few minutes. Once the veggies have softened, add the ground beef to brown, breaking it into very small pieces using a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook over medium heat until the meat is no longer red.
Then, add the vinegar and bone broth, and cook for another 30 minutes, covered, on medium to low heat. Add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, spices, and almond milk. Stir well, then cook for 45 minutes on low until the sauce has thickened.
While the sauce is cooking, make your preferred noodles (I use gluten-free brown rice pasta). Serve the noodles with the sauce and top with fresh basil.
RECIPE SUBSTITUTIONS & QUESTIONS
Feel free to serve the sauce over your favorite pasta. I use a gluten-free brown rice pasta, typically a longer noodle such as linguine or fettuccine, but this is a no-judgement zone so use whatever you’d like. Also, I use unsweetened almond milk because I have a hard time with dairy, but you can use any type of milk that you prefer.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN MEAT SAUCE AND BOLOGNESE?
Good question! Meat sauce is essentially a tomato-based sauce that is simmered with ground beef. Bolognese, on the other hand, is a ragù – it’s thicker and creamier, using milk as one of the ingredients in combination with the tomatoes. You really can’t go wrong with either, but the more you know, right?
HOW HEALTHY IS BEEF BOLOGNESE?
Beef is an excellent source of animal protein that naturally contains all nine essential amino acids, and is rich in B vitamins as well as minerals such as iron and zinc. You also get the added benefits of micronutrients and phytochemicals from the veggies that are used in this recipe. I generally do my best to buy the cleanest items when I’m at the grocery store, which usually means shopping organic, and in the case of meat, also means that it is pasture-raised and/or grass-fed.
LOOKING FOR MORE RECIPES LIKE THIS?
Looking for more healthy recipes? Check out my New York Times Best Selling Cookbook, Rachael’s Good Eats. 110+ easy, laid-back, nutrient-rich recipes.
The Best Beef Bolognese
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 white onion, finely diced
- 3 long carrots, finely diced
- 3 celery sticks, finely diced
- 2-4 cloves garlic, finely diced
- 2 lbs pasture-raised organic ground beef
- 1 cup beef bone broth
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 2 14 oz cans crushed tomatoes
- 8 oz tomato paste
- 1 tbsp oregano
- 1/2 tsp parsley
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 2 tsp sea salt
- ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
- fresh basil, to top
- Heat a large skillet on medium heat.
- Once hot, add olive oil, diced veggies & garlic and sauté for 10-12 minutes, tossing every few minutes.
- Once veggies are soft, add beef in the middle and break into very small pieces using a wooden spoon or spatula. Cook until no longer red.
- Add vinegar and bone broth and cook for another 30 minutes, covered, on medium to low heat.
- Add remaining ingredients, toss, then cook for 45 minutes on low until thickened.
- Make preferred noodles (I use gluten-free brown rice pasta) and serve with sauce and fresh basil once done.