The Consigliere’s Pasta Bolognese


Prep time: 40  minutes
Cook time: 90 minutes

I had never had pasta Bolognese until last year, a pitiful fact considering I’m of Italian descent. Sometime last spring I thought to myself “my, that’s a beautiful name for a dish. It must be tasty!” Even though I had never tried said dish,  and had no clue what was in it, I set out to make it as a delightful Sunday supper. And then I botched it. My-husband-would-rather-eat-ramen-than-these-leftovers kind of botched it.

At this point I don’t even recall the recipe I was using. I blocked out the bad experience – it was just too complicated. Flavorful, sophisticated cuisine does not have to be complicated. So I set out to make/create my own recipe after a little research. I am pleased to report that although it take some cook to cook, this recipe is simple and delicious.

Growing up I was never a fan of “red sauce,” or what my husband’s family fondly calls “gravy.” I poured the bare amount to get the pasta wet. Its grown on my over the years; this sauce especially. I can affirmatively say I was dipping my Italian bread just so I could mop up any extra sauce on the plate! I hope you find this recipe as simple and enjoyable as we did.


3 T olive oil, separated 1 T and 2 T
¾ C carrots, shredded
¾ C celery, finely chopped
1 C onion, finely chopped
2 sausage links
½ C ground beef
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 T hot pepper, minced
1 T dried oregano
¼ C fresh basil, chopped (plus some for garnish)
1 1/4 C red wine, separated into 1 C and ¼ C
1 C chicken stock
2 pints whole tomatoes with juice
8 ox tomato sauce
3 small bay leaves
1 tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
¼ C half-and-half
¼ Parmigiano cheese, grated
pasta of your choice


1. Heat 1 T olive oil in large stock pot on medium-high heat, then add carrots, celery and onion. Cook for approx 5 minutes, until vegetables are translucent. Remove vegetables from stock pot.

2. Add sausage and ground beef and cook until just browned. Remove from pot and set aside with vegetables.

3. Add 2 T olive oil to stock pot and allow to heat. Then add garlic and hot pepper. Cook for about a minute, until garlic is fragrant. Add oregano and basil to stock pot. Cook for an additional minute.

4. Mix meat and vegetables back into stock pot.


Everybody’s just hanging out, waiting for the party to start, aka the wine to arrive!

5. Pour in 1 C red wine, and bring to a simmer. Stir constantly until wine evaporates, or for approximately 8 minutes.

6. After nearly all of the wine has evaporated, add ¼ C red wine, chicken stock, tomatoes and juice, tomato sauce, bay leaves, salt, cinnamon to the stock pot. Bring to a boil.

7. Once the sauce comes to a bowl, cover partially and set burner to medium-low heat. Allow the sauce to simmer for approximately 90 minutes. If you are in a rush, you could go as few as 60 minutes. After sauce has simmered for the requisite period of time, stir half-and-half into sauce.

9. Cook your pasta when the mixture has about 10 minutes left so that it is ready when the sauce is.

10. Garnish with Parmigiano cheese and freshly chopped basil.

Why is this dish so time consuming? The flavors need to develop, the wine needs to reduce, the sauce needs to simmer and thicken. You can cut-down on the time by preparing all of the ingredients at once – meaning everything is chopped and  measured ahead of time. Still, the cooking process is lengthy. It’s worth the wait, and is a perfect Sunday meal after simmering through a football game (Go Patriots)!

Hungry for more great recipes? Explore more Lawyer in the Kitchen!


  1. […] but it looks and sounds cool, so why not develop a recipe around it? It first started with my bolognese recipe, which turned out pretty great. So great that I don’t like anyone else’s bolognese. […]

  2. […] Wooden spoons are great for making Fresh Country Risotto or Pasta Bolognese. […]

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