Pappardelle Bolognese combines a hearty homemade bolognese sauce with al dente pappardelle pasta. The whole family will love this total comfort food and ask for it to be on the dinner table weekly! Using simple ingredients we create a beef pasta sauce with a short simmer time, that has a fantastic aroma and delicious taste! Pappardelle alla bolognese is the ultimate winner winner bolognese dinner 😉👌.
🤍 Recipe Highlights
I have summarised everything that you will come to know and love (LOVE ❤) about the recipe in the points below:
- Simple and straight forward: there is nothing tricky or difficult about this recipe. It is as simple as cooking some mince, adding the sauce ingredients and cooking some pasta. It makes for an easy breezy dinner option!
- Basic ingredients: the ingredients needed for this pappardelle pasta with meat sauce are all simple and easy to find at the local shops. Tomato paste, ground beef and red wine (to serve) are a winning combination!
- Minimal prep involved: we peel and chop some carrots, onion and celery and the 'hard work' is done. It is very much back to basics without a lot of energy involved.
- Taste and texture: it is cheesy, it is meaty, it has garlic, it has a thick sauce and delicious. All of these good things are packed into the 1 recipe. Yummo right 😉👌
- Family friendly: everyone will love this meaty sauce recipe from the little ones to big kids. It is the perfect meal to enjoy sitting around the table together after a busy day.
- Full of flavour: the pappardelle with bolognese sauce has a rich tomato flavour dappled with the dried onion and Italian herbs. The trio of vegetables offer subtle fragrant yum. The combination is unmistakably of Italian origins and delivers much value in terms of a full bodied hearty dish.
The photo below is to show you everything you need to make the recipe. Please refer to the printable recipe card for specific ingredient measurements as well as detailed instructions.
As you can see the recipe calls for:
- Olive oil: this gets added to the pan and we use it to cook the beef.
- Salt and black pepper: we use a little of each of these to season the beef.
- Garlic: chunky minced is my preference, you can also use 2-3 fresh garlic cloves and finely chop them.
- Beef bouillon cubes: also known as beef stock cubes we use these to add an extra depth of flavour to the bolognese sauce. They get crushed over the top of the pan before we simmer the sauce.
- Dried herbs: we use a small amount of each dried parsley, basil and oregano. These help impart Italian flavors into the bolognese sauce.
- Onion: skin peeled and finely chopped. This is one of the trio of fresh vegetables we add to the bolognese.
- Tomato paste: a thick and robust paste that adds a lovely tomato fragrance and taste to the sauce.
- Worcestershire sauce: adds a little oomph to recipes. I like to use this in place of using red wine sometimes in my bolognese sauces.
- Diced tomatoes: give the sauce great chunky texture.
- Carrots: peeled and finely chopped.
- Celery: base and leaves trimmed then finely chopped into small pieces.
- Passata: also known as tomato puree this forms the base of the bolognese sauce.
- Pappardelle: a flat wide pasta which is excellent for bolognese as the sauce clings to the pasta.
- Beef mince (also known as ground beef): you can use lean ground beef if you wish to.
- Black pepper: this is a lovely way to finish off the dish.
- Parmesan cheese: grated over the top.
- Basil leaves: add a pop or 2 of colour and are an easy finishing touch.
Tasty Tip: I like to provide you with a number of substitutions and variations giving you an array of options when making the recipe. If in doubt of any of the above ingredients, or wanting alternatives, read this section (further below) before jumping into the instructions on how to make the recipe which are coming next 😉👌.
Here are the step by step instructions to make the recipe. We start by cooking the meat followed by the vegetables.
- Add oil, beef, garlic, salt and pepper to pan and cook (Photo 1)
- Cook carrot, celery and onion (Photo 2)
- Add cooked beef (Photo 3)
- Add sauce ingredients (Photo 4)
👩🍳 How to Make Pappardelle Bolognese
To make the bolognese, we start by cooking the beef. To do this place a large saute pan on the stove top, turn the heat to high, add the olive oil, beef mince, garlic, salt and pepper.
Cook this, breaking up any clumps of meat with a wooden spoon until the meat is all light brown with no pink bits. It will take around 8 - 10 minutes for the meat to cook.
Once it is done, transfer it to a paper towel lined bowl. Then without rinsing or cleaning the pan add the chopped onions, carrot and celery.
Once the vegetables are cooked add the cooked beef back to the pan and then we start the sauce.
Pour in the passata, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce and dried herbs. Then hold the boullion cubes over the pan and crush them with your fingers.
Stir to combine the sauce, then reduce the heat to a low simmer for 15 minutes.
- Stir to combine the sauce ingredients (Photo 5)
- Cook pasta and reserve some of the water (Photo 6)
- Add the cooked drained pasta to the sauce, add water (Photo 7)
- Garnish (Photo 8)
As the sauce is simmering, you can use this time to cook the pasta. Simply place a medium saucepan on the stove, fill with water, add a pinch of salt and bring it to the boil.
Read and follow the package instructions on the packet to boil pasta. Moments before it is al dente, use a heatproof jug to scoop out 1 to 2 cups of the pasta water and set this aside.
Next use a colander to drain the pasta over the sink and discard the rest of the water.
Add the cooked pasta to the bolognese sauce, measure and pour in ½ cup (125ml) of the pasta water and then toss and stir to combine.
Once the pappardelle, starchy pasta water and bolognese sauce are all consistently mixed together, get ready to get your garnish on.
For this we use a combination of black pepper, freshly grated cheese and basil leaves.
Be generous when garnishing and don't hold back on the cheese 😉👌
🍽 Serving Suggestions
Or simply fill the bowls with the bolognese pappardelle and chow on down!! Garnish with black pepper, freshly grated parmesan cheese and fresh basil leaves for a few pops of colour.
For a white wine pairing try a Pinot Gris or a Pinot Noir for a hearty glass of red!
👍 How to Guide
How to Store
Store leftovers of the pappardelle on a plate in the fridge with cling wrap or in a sealed air tight container. They will last for 3 days.
How to Freeze
Allow the dish to fully cool before portioning into containers. A good option is to freeze the bolognese sauce separately and then cook fresh pappardelle to go with it the night you want to eat or serve it. Thaw the dish completely before reheating.
How to Reheat
Refrigerated leftovers can be reheated in the microwave, on a plate with cling wrap over the top. They will only take 2 to 3 minutes to heat through. You can also add a couple of drops of oil (teaspoon) to a saucepan and add the leftover bolognese sauce. Turn the heat to medium and stir till heated through.
😉 Substitutions and Variations
Here are my sub ins and outs that you might be thinking about as you read the post and I will tell you if I think they will work or why they won't:
- You can use crushed tomatoes in place of the diced tomatoes. For either version go for the tin that has no additional flavors and is simply plain diced or plain crushed tomatoes.
- For a pappardelle substitute try tagliatelle, linguine or fettucine. Or you can use any type of pasta you like!
- You can also use fresh pasta in place of dried pasta. To do that, read and follow the package cooking instructions as they will differ to cooking dried pasta.
- If you are a red wine lover, you can add that in place or addition to the Worcestershire sauce. 2 tablespoons is a good amount to aim for.
- You can use pecorino romano in place of the parmesan cheese to garnish the dish.
- In place of the basil leaves, you can use finely chopped parsley.
- For an alternative protein, you can use pork mince (ground pork).
💡 Tasty Tips
Here are my top tips and tricks that I want to share with you so that you master the recipe from the get go:
- When cooking mince (ground meats) it is handy to use a wooden spoon to break up the clumps as it cooks. These clumps can be brown on the outside but pink in the middle. So break them apart and the beef will be consistently cooked the way we want it to be.
- When you are simmering the sauce if it starts to bubble and flick up onto your splash back reduce the heat further or put a lid on it.
- Try and cook the pasta in the final stages of the recipe. We want to add it to the bolognese sauce when it is freshly drained and not having sat in the sink for 10 minutes. This will mean it starts to stick together 😭.
- If you are a 'pasta' and 'sauce' person, instead of combining the pasta, starchy water and sauce, you can instead dollop the sauce over the top of the pasta. If which case, you can omit the addition of the pasta water. We only want to use this if we are wanting our pasta sauces to stick to the pasta.
🤓 Frequently Asked Questions
What's in Bolognese sauce?
Bolognese sauce is made from a protein such as ground beef or ground pork, vegetables, tomato puree, diced tomatoes, herbs and Worcestershire sauce.
How can I make my bolognese more tasty?
Adding a variety of chopped vegetables is a great way to add more flavor and texture to a bolognese sauce. Try a trio of chopped onion, peeled and sliced carrots and finely chopped celery ribs.
Should you let bolognese rest?
Resting meats is a way to allow the juices to be reabsorbed. This process doesn't apply to bolognese the same way it does to cooking a steak for example. The juices are all part of the flavors in the bolognese sauce.
Do you drain the fat from mince when making Bolognese?
After cooking the ground beef, transfer it to a paper towel lined bowl. This way the excess oil can be drained from the beef so when it gets added back with the vegetables there is no greasy texture in the sauce.
😍 More Easy Dinner Recipes
Options, we all need plenty of dinner options up our sleeve! Here is some that offer different proteins, cook times, taste and textures. I hope you love them!
- Crumbed Lamb Cutlets
- Italian Short Ribs (Braised Beef Ribs)
- Chicken and Chorizo Paella
- Penne Alfredo
- BBQ Chicken Ribs
- Pesto Pappardelle
- Red Wine Short Ribs
- Penne Bolognese
- Homemade Meatballs And Gravy
- Beef Osso Bucco
- Honey Sriracha Meatballs
Let's get our pappardelle on my friend with a meaty beefy sauce. You can also find all of my pasta recipes in the one spot!
Easy Pappardelle Bolognese Recipe
- 1 Large saute pan
- 1 Wooden spoon
- 1 Colander to drain the pasta
- 1 Heatproof jug to scoop out and reserve some of the pasta water
- 1 Medium sauce pan
- 1 Kitchen Tongs
- 1 Microplane zester to grate the parmesan cheese for serving
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 500 grams/16 oz lean ground beef (beef mince)
- 1 tablespoon garlic chunky, minced
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ½ large onion skin peeled, finely diced
- 1 large carrot peeled, diced
- 6 stalks celery ends and leaves trimmed, cut into small pieces
- 700 grams/24.5 oz passata Note 1
- 400 grams/14.5oz diced tomatoes Note 2
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 2 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon dried parsley Note 3
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ cup/125ml pasta water Note 4
- 500 grams/16 oz pappardelle pasta Note 5
- black pepper
- parmesan cheese finely grated using a microplane zester
- basil leaves
- Cook beef: place a large saute pan on the stove, turn the heat to high, add the olive oil, beef, garlic, salt and pepper. Cook till browned using a wooden spoon to break up any clumps of meat as you go. The meat will take 8 - 10 minutes to cook. Once cooked, transfer to a paper towel lined bowl.
- Cook vegetables: without rinsing or cleaning the pan add the diced onion, carrot and celery. Cook for 3 - 4 minutes.
- Combine: when the vegetables are cooked add the cooked beef back to the pan.
- Sauce: next pour in the passata, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, dried parsley, dried oregano, dried basil and then crush the boullion cubes over the top. Stir to combine, reduce the heat to low and let simmer for 15 minutes.
- Cook pappardelle: place a large pot of boiling salted water on the stove. Read and follow the instructions on the pappardelle to cook. Moments before it is al dente, scoop out 1 to 2 cups of pasta water and set aside. Then use a colander to drain the pasta and discard the remaining water.
- Combine: once the 15 minutes of simmering are up add the cooked pappardelle to the bolognese sauce, then add ½ cup of the pasta water. Use kitchen tongs to toss and combine.
- Garnish: liberally garnish the dish for serving with black pepper, parmesan cheese and basil leaves. Provide forks and spoons for eating.
- Note 1 Passata: also known as tomato puree this forms the base of the bolognese sauce.
- Note 2 - Diced tomatoes: you can use crushed tomatoes as an alternative. Purchase the plain version with no additional herbs so that we know exactly what we are putting into the recipe.
- Note 3 - Dried herbs: you can use dried Italian herbs if you wish to as opposed to using 2 seperate dried herbs. I would reduce the amount to 1 ½ teaspoons in this case.
- Note 4 - Reserved pasta water: this is the water that the pasta cooks in. You will find it easier to scoop out more than you need, then measure it. So I scoop out 1-2 cups and then use a ½ cup measuring spoon to get the amount and pour that in.
- Note 5 - Pappardelle: a flat wide pasta which is excellent for bolognese as the sauce clings to the pasta.