Rigatoni Bolognese

How to make Rigatoni Bolognese


1 lb ground beef

8.5 oz rigatoni

1 carrot finely diced

1 celery stalk finely diced

1 onion finely diced

3 garlic cloves minced

3 tablespoon tomato paste

½ cup red wine alternatively: white wine or beef bone broth

1 ¼ cup tomato passata

1 bay leaf

2 teaspoon olive oil extra virgin

salt and pepper to taste

optional: grated parmesan and fresh basil


Preheat a large pan or pot with olive oil over medium heat.

Chop the carrot, celery and onion. Mince the garlic.

Add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic to the pan and sauté until the vegetables start to soften.

Then, add the ground beef, add salt and pepper and sauté everything until the beef has browned.

Add the tomato paste and sauté for a few more minutes.

Now, add the red wine and tomato passata and heat the sauce up until it starts to simmer. Add the bay leaf, cover the pot or pan and let the bolognese simmer for 15 minutes.

Cook the rigatoni according to package instruction while the bolognese simmers.

After letting the bolognese simmer, check if you need to add more liquid. You might want to add a bit of water if the sauce is too thick. Add the rigatoni to the bolognese, mix everything, add more salt and pepper if needed and serve with fresh basil and grated parmesan (optional). Enjoy!


If you don’t want to use any wine, go for beef bone broth instead! It will taste very delicious.

If you want to make a spicy version of this dish, add paprika powder or red pepper flakes. You could also use red pepper paste instead of tomato paste to give this dish more flavor and a bit of spice.

Save some of the bolognese before adding the rigatoni if you want to freeze a few extra servings for meal prep.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 602kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 30g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Potassium: 920mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 2893IU | Vitamin C: 13mg | Calcium: 79mg | Iron: 5mg

Frequently Asked Questions:

Can I use a different type of pasta for Rigatoni Bolognese?

Yes, you can use other pasta shapes like spaghetti, fettuccine, or penne if rigatoni is not available.

Is there a vegetarian version of Bolognese?

Certainly, you can substitute the ground beef with plant-based alternatives like lentils, mushrooms, or textured vegetable protein for a vegetarian version.

Can I skip the wine in the recipe?

Yes, you can omit the wine.

You may use beef bone broth or even water as an alternative.

How do I store leftover Bolognese sauce?

Store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days or freeze for longer storage.

Can I use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef?

Absolutely, ground turkey or chicken can be a lighter alternative to ground beef.

What can I substitute for tomato passata?

You can use crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce as a substitute for tomato passata.

Should I remove the bay leaf before serving?

Yes, it’s advisable to remove the bay leaf before serving as it’s added for flavor during cooking.

Can I make this dish ahead of time?

Yes, Bolognese sauce often tastes even better when made ahead.

Just reheat gently before serving.

How do I know when the Bolognese sauce is ready?

The sauce is ready when it has thickened, and the flavors have melded together.

Taste for seasoning before serving.

Can I add vegetables like bell peppers to the Bolognese sauce?

Absolutely, feel free to add vegetables like bell peppers, mushrooms, or zucchini for added texture and flavor.

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