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Rigatoni Bolognese Recipe

  • Author: Shawn Williams
  • Prep Time: 15
  • Cook Time: 30
  • Total Time: 45 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Italian


Rigatoni bolognese is a simple, yet elegant dish made with homemade bolognese sauce, rigatoni, fresh herbs, and a dollop of ricotta or mascarpone cheese.


  • 1 pound rigatoni, pappardelle, or liguini
  • 1/2 pound 85% lean ground beef
  • 1/2 pound ground sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 (28-ounce) can of crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup carrot, diced
  • 1/2 cup white wine (or red if you prefer)
  • 1/3 cup tomato paste
  • 810 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 34 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • Dash of crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and ground black pepper, to taste
  • Mascarpone or ricotta and or parmesan cheese for topping


  1. Bring oil and butter to medium heat in a large pan or dutch oven. Once hot, add minced garlic and chopped onion. Cook for 1-2 minutes. Stir in celery and carrots, simmering for 3-4 minutes until tender. Add ground beef/sausage and cook until browned, about 5 minutes. Use the tip of a spatula to break up the beef and pork into the smallest chunks possible. Season all over with salt and pepper liberally.
  2. Reduce heat to medium-low and add the wine. Simmer until evaporated, about 7-10 minutes.
  3. Stir in tomato paste until thoroughly mixed and the meat mixture has thickened.
  4. Add crushed tomatoes, milk, chicken broth, crushed red pepper, chopped basil, oregano, and sugar. Mix until incorporated and reduce heat to low.
  5. Let simmer on the lowest heat setting so the sauce is JUST simmering. Simmer for 1 1/2-2 hours, stirring every 20-30 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. You can use a spoon to skim some of the fat off the top if desired. If the sauce gets too thick, add a splash of chicken broth. Consistency should be similar to sloppy joe filling. Season with more salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the rigatoni and cook al dente. Strain well and add to a large bowl with some bolognese sauce. Toss to mix and plate topped with fresh basil and a dollop of ricotta or mascarpone cheese, and freshly grated parmesan cheese.


Bolognese can be made ahead of time and reheated when ready to serve. You can also store it in the freezer for 4-6 months. Let thaw in the fridge and reheat in a saucepan. You may need to add some reserved pasta water or chicken broth if the reheated sauce feels too thick.

For a twist and added flavor, I use a 50-50 split of ground beef and ground Italian sausage. You can use all ground beef if you prefer.


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 669
  • Sugar: 14.7g
  • Sodium: 767mg
  • Fat: 25.5g
  • Saturated Fat: 9.4g
  • Carbohydrates: 74.3g
  • Fiber: 8g
  • Protein: 31.4
  • Cholesterol: 74mg

Keywords: rigatoni bolognese, date-night bolognese


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