sauce from a jar is so last year

As I’ve started making more and more homemade food, I’ve taken a hard look at what I cook to try and find ways I can make it better. One thing I noticed was that all my homemade pasta deserved a nice, homemade sauce to go along with it. Enter my version of bolognese.


I know, I know, it isn’t real bolognese, but it isn’t just everyday tomato sauce either. I think this fits somewhere in-between, and it is my go-to sauce whenever I make homemade pasta.

Update 2018-03-03: This is a recipe I constantly improvise on, and the version I’ve settled on is a bit different than what I have posted here. Click here for my better bolognese sauce


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced or microplaned
  • 1 tbsp butter or olive oil
  • 2 large cans tomato sauce
  • 2 fresh tomatoes (optional)
  • 1-2 lb. ground meat, browned
  • 1/2 cup chicken stock (optional)
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream (optional)
  • seasonings
    • salt
    • pepper
    • oregano
    • thyme
    • basil
    • red pepper flakes


  • large dutch oven or large pot


  1. Heat butter or oil in dutch oven until shimmering. Add onion, carrots and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
  2. Add garlic, cook until aromatic, about 1 minute.
  3. Add tomato sauce, stock (if using), tomatoes (if using), and meat. Heat to a simmer, and simmer for at least 30 minutes.
  4. Add the cream (if using) and stir well.

Serve with lots of freshly grated parmesan cheese.


  • 2016-02-20 - Good as always!