Barefoot’s weeknight bolognese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: pasta
Serves: 6-8
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 pound grass fed beef - I typically use 80% to 85% lean, as we like the flavor that a little fat brings to the sauce
  • 4 teaspoons minced garlic (roughly 5 cloves)
  • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
  • ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1¼ cups dry red wine, divided - Make sure to use a robust and rich wine for this recipe, such as a cabernet, as the wine really brings out the flavors in the sauce
  • 1 (28-ounce) BPA free can crushed tomatoes, preferably San Marzano, or a 24-ounce box of San Marzano tomatoes - the 24-ounce box is the same as using a 28-ounce can
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1 to 1½ teaspoons (coarse or fine) sea salt, divided, plus more to taste
  • 1½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 box of favorite traditional pasta, such as bowtie or orecchiette, brown rice pasta or spaghetti squash
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil leaves, lightly packed
  1. Let's prep the ingredients. Mince the garlic cloves, measure out 1 cup of wine, 2 tablespoon tomato paste, spices and salt.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium heat. Add the ground beef, teaspoon salt, and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, until the meat browns, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Stir in the minced garlic, red pepper flakes and the dried oregano, making sure to rub the oregano between your fingers to release the oils, cook for 1-2 minutes until fragrant.
  4. Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits.
  5. Add the can or box of tomatoes, 2 tablespoons tomato paste, and 1½ teaspoons pepper, stirring until combined.
  6. Bring the sauce to a boil. Once the sauce comes to a boil, lower the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. While the sauce simmers, rinse and chop the basil, measure out ¼ cup of red wine.
  8. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of pasta to a boil, add the pasta and cook according to the directions on the box.
  9. Let's finish off the sauce.
  10. Add the ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, ¼ cup chopped basil, and the remaining ¼ cup wine to the sauce and simmer for 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.
  11. Be sure to taste the sauce and add more salt and a bit of wine to taste. I always add about ½ teaspoon more salt to the sauce, but this is all to individual taste.
  12. When the pasta is finished cooking, drain it and pour it into either a large serving bowl, or the same pan that you cooked the pasta in.
  13. Add the sauce to the pasta and toss well to coat.
  14. Serve the pasta up into individual bowls and top each with some fresh parmesan and basil.
  15. Got leftovers: You can re-heat the pasta in a heavy-duty pan. Just add a splash or two of water, give the pasta a stir, set the heat to med-low, cover and let the pasta warm up. The water will evaporate, but will create moisture/steam for the pasta so it doesn't dry out while re-heating. Make sure to give the pasta a stir every so often, so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: serves 4-8
Recipe by Marin Mama Cooks at