There’s no denying that when it comes to meat sauces, a good bolognese is matchless, but it is a sauce that many a Nonna can spend the better part of a day creating. I’m not going to sit here and tell you that it’s not worth that time and patience – it most certainly is and the results are often mindblowing – I’m just going to tell you that you can still get a great bolognese in a much quicker fashion. Like this One-Pot Pasta Bolognese, for instance. This is our quick-fix answer to bolognese and it happens to be absolutely delicious even though it comes together in one pot (as in you don’t even need to boil the pasta separately) in just under thirty minutes.
The nice thing about bolognese is that it doesn’t take a ton of ingredients to make a great one. It’s really a simple list – a few aromatic veggies, some tomatoes, some ground meat. Speaking of which, we’re using only ground beef here since this is a quick-fix, easy version, but you could absolutely use a more traditional combination of pork, veal, and beef if your heart so desires.
You start by chopping up carrot, onion, and celery, and sauteeing them in olive oil until they’ve softened.
Garlic, tomato paste, and the ground beef join them and cook until the pinkness is gone from the meat.
And here’s where the ‘one-pot’ part of the deal comes in – you add some diced tomatoes along with a few cups of water and the pasta and bring everything to a boil. As it simmers, the sauce reduces and the pasta gets tender and chewy right there in the sauce.
It means that instead of just being dressed in a flavorful sauce, the pasta itself is flavorful. It’s quick, but it’s still that rich bolognese flavor you know and love. And since it’s all done right there together in one pot, technically you don’t even need to go get yourself a bowl!
One Pot Pasta Bolognese
It's not just like Nonna's, but it IS quick and easy!
Serves 4; 5 minutes to prepare, 25 minutes cook time
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 1 ribs celery, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup tomato paste
- 1 lb lean ground beef
- 1 (28 oz) can diced tomatoes, undrained
- 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
- 1 lb uncooked bucatini or fettuccine
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated, plus more for serving
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped, plus more for serving
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, and celery and cook until softened, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
- Stir in tomato paste and cook another minute, then add the beef and season with salt and pepper. Cook until browned, about 5 minutes.
- Add tomatoes, Italian seasoning, pasta, and 3 cups of water. Stir everything to make sure that the pasta is covered in liquid.
- Bring to a boil and stir frequently to keep pasta from sticking. Cook until pasta is al dente and sauce has thickened, 10-12 minutes.
- Stir in Parmesan and parsley and season with salt and pepper as needed.
- Serve with additional Parmesan and parsley, and enjoy!