overhead shot of classic bolognese on dish with spoon

Oh my goodness it’s PASTA-O-CLOCK, people! Get ready because your tastebuds are about to be turned upside down with this all-time classic Rigatoni Bolognese. Warning you now, this is the best bolognese I’ve ever had. And I hope you’ll agree.

overhead shot of classic bolognese on dish with spoon

What is bolognese?

A classic bolognese is a meat based sauce that is simmer for a long period of time until all the flavors have developed into a thick and hearty sauce. Bolognese was created in Bologna, Italy (surprise) and is usually made with white wine, ground beef, onions, celery, carrots, tomato paste, olive oil, and a touch of cream. Our bolognese is much heavier on the tomatoes (because who doesn’t love tomatoes??), but still packs all the hearty flavor found in a traditional bolognese.

Serve it up with a healthy dose of grated parmesan and a glass of red wine and you’re in for a good meal.

How to make the best bolognese recipe?

We’ve been perfecting this sauce to take any guess work out for you and not to brag, we’ve kind of got it down. We start by cooking a lean ground chuck in a cast iron pot with some butter. Remove the meat and in the same pot cook the vegetables. Add in the meat, tomato, milk for creaminess and simmer for at least 3 hours to develop allllll the flavors.

What kind of pasta should you use for a classic bolognese?

Ahh pasta. Truly my favorite food in the entire world. And, guys, DeLallo truly does it best. Their pasta is created from quality wheat with the highest gluten index, gluten content and protein content, resulting in a beautifully textured pasta that actually has a taste to it! DeLallo also dries their pasta slowly and over low heat (this is not typical for most mass-produced pasta!), which is how pasta is traditionally made, and helps to preserve texture, aroma, and taste.

I recently had the opportunity to travel to Italy with DeLallo (see my recap post here!) and see their entire pasta-making process. It was absolutely incredible, and it made me fall even deeper in love with DeLallo’s entire line of pasta. 

I love to make bolognese with DeLallo’s classic rigatoni pasta. It’s short, easy to eat, and I love how the bolognese sauce fills up each piece of pasta for a perfect bite, every time. So nice on cozy nights when you want to curl up in front of the fire (or TV because I’m a TV freak) with a big bowl of hearty deliciousness.

The other great thing about hearty pasta dishes? They’re great for serving a crowd. Alex and I love to cook  up for a group of friends or a special celebration for just the two of us. And if it is just the two of you? No worries! The sauce will store well in an airtight container in the fridge for about a week or freeze for up to three months! Simply heat up the sauce when you are ready to eat and cook fresh pasta!

Point is, you can’t go wrong with a rigatoni bolognese. Bolognese also pairs beautifully with other thicker, tubular pastas like mezze rigatoni (it’s just smaller!), ziti, or casarecce.

plate of rigatoni bolognese on a dinner scape

What’re you waiting for, babes? Turn your Friday into a party with the best bolognese ever.


The Best Bolognese

overhead shot of classic bolognese on dish with spoon
  • Author: Sarah Fennel | Broma Bakery
  • Prep Time: 10 mintues
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 50 minute
  • Yield: 8 servings
  • Category: pasta
  • Method: stovetop
  • Cuisine: italian


  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 pound ground chuck (15-20% fat)
  • 1/2 cup celery, diced (about 3 stalks)
  • 1/2 cup carrot, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • pinch nutmeg
  • 28 oz DeLallo San Marzano-style crushed tomatoes
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 cup milk
  • parmigiano reggiano, for topping


  1. In a large caste-iron pot over medium heat, melt 1 tablespoon of butter. Add ground chuck to pan, season with a sprinkle of salt, then use a hard spatula to break up meat into small pieces. The smaller the better, so just keep going until the meat is as fine as you can get it. Cook until meat is no longer pink, then remove from pot.
  2. Without cleaning, place the pot back on the stove over medium heat (it’s ok if a few small pieces of meat remain). Add in remaining tablespoon of butter, then add in celery, carrot, and onion. Cook until vegetables sweat and are nicely translucent, 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add meat back into pot, then add in wine and cook until all the steam evaporates off. Season with 1 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of nutmeg (even less than 1/8 teaspoon), then stir in the DeLallo crushed tomatoes, and 2 bay leaves.
  4. Bring everything to a boil, then turn heat to simmer and add in milk. Cook uncovered for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. If sauce starts to look dry, add in 1/2 cup water. Once finished cooking, discard bay leaves and adjust salt seasoning, if necessary.
  5. Boil a large pot of rigatoni, cooking to al dente. Drain pasta and place in a large mixing bowl. Toss with sauce, coating completely. Place on a serving bowl and top with a healthy sprinkling of parmigiano cheese!

Keywords: easy, the best, classic, weeknight, dinner party

This post is sponsored by DeLallo. All text and opinions are 100% my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands who help make Broma possible!



Perfect as the weather gets cool. Bring on the comfort food!

Bobby jones

Beautiful dish. Some sweetness, that lovely touch of nutmeg and I kept some crunchy ness to the veg.


Made this for my kids tonight and they loved it! Perfect for leftovers too! Thanks Sarah!

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