If you have ground meat in your freezer (or fresh!) This is a great Bolognese recipe, I started with Geoffrey Zakarian’s recipe @foodnetwork and modified to my taste/what I had on hand.

This recipe can cover you for 4 meals. I plan on using 1/2 quart for 1 lb of ziti that will serve dinner for 4 people plus a lunch or two. I will also post the recipe that I make for Shepard’s Pie using one quart of the Bolognese as the base. This can also be mixed with rice or quinoa for incredible Stuffed Peppers or Stuffed Cabbage rolls. Let me know if you think of anything creative to do with this as a component!

4lb ground meat/sausage (I used ground beef/pork this time because it’s what I had on hand.)
2 onions fine dice 
2 carrots fine dice
8 cloves garlic mince
1/2t dried rosemary
4oz tomato paste
1/4-1 cup cooking wine
2 28oz cans San Marzano tomatoes
2 cups chicken broth
About 4 thyme sprigs tied with twine
Parm rind

  1. In large pot brown the meat, I used the pan that I cooked bacon in for lunch to scrape up all that beautiful fond. If you don’t happen to have that available you could always cook a few pieces of bacon before you put your meat in. Set meat aside on plate/bowl. 
  2. In the same pot, using about 1/4 cup of the fat from your meat that you left aside (save the rest in case you need a moisture boost) and sauté the onion, carrot, garlic, salt and pepper and rosemary until soft.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook until brick red (pinçage).
  4. Add the wine, reduce (I used 1/3c sherry wine bc it was all I had and it was great). You can omit if wine is not your thing.
  5. Add all of the remaining ingredients and the meat making sure to crush all the tomatoes (I use a potato masher or the back of a wooden spoon). 
  6. Simmer until the tomato tastes mellow, about 2.5 hours then remove rind and thyme and season to taste with salt and pepper. 

When I made the Ziti Bolognese I used 1lb pasta cooked al dente and about 2c of the Bolognese heated in a seperate large pot. I followed GZs advice and used plenty of pasta water when I added the pasta to the warm sauce along with 3-4T room temp. butter and plenty of Pecorino Romano into the pot and it was SO delicious.

Writing recipes during quarantine feels so different from the usual, using things we have on hand and not being able to make a grocery list. I am going to make the best of the time, it feels like it’s bringing us closer as a community even though we are further apart than ever. I feel so lucky to be able to be home with my kids and homeschool them while getting 10x the amount of snuggles everyday.

I hope if you are reading this you have plenty of silver linings during this time and if you need any help with recipe ideas, ingredient substitutions when you are missing something or any culinary or homemaking question that you will send me a message, I’d be happy to help.

Happy Cooking!

About Julie Parkis

About Julie Parkis

Mom, MBA, Yogi, CIA grad and food enthusiast looking to share knowledge of food/cooking and general wellness information.

I am happiest in the kitchen with people who love food as much as I do!



  1. Shepard’s Pie | Home Away Cafe - […] other day I posted a recipe for Bolognese with a promise of a Shepard’s pie recipe to follow and…
  2. Stuffed Cabbage | Home Away Cafe - […] Stuffed Cabbage recipe is another recipe that I developed from my Versatile Bolognese recipe. These cabbage rolls were light…
  3. Caramelized Onions | Home Away Cafe - […] the bacon, in case that pan can be used for something later in the day such as the beginning…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Popular Posts

Thanksgiving Meal Planning

It's almost here! If you are hosting Thanksgiving this year you are somewhere in the range of having your plan set with multiple lists...

read more

Low-Tox Hosting Tips

For those of us trying to live a little healthier or if you are hosting the crunchy types in your life… These are some tips to help you...

read more