Beef Bolognese with Linguine

Total Time

Prep: 30 min. Cook: 3-1/2 hours


18 servings

Updated: Dec. 13, 2023
After much research, tasting and tweaking, I finally came up with this beef bolognese recipe that is based on a dish from an Italian restaurant where I worked. It’s perfect for feeding a house full of guests. —Christine Wendland, Browns Mills, New Jersey
Beef Bolognese with Linguine Recipe photo by Taste of Home


  • 3 pounds lean ground beef (90% lean)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 medium onions, chopped
  • 3 large carrots, chopped
  • 6 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 can (12 ounces) tomato paste, divided
  • 9 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 3 tablespoons dried parsley flakes
  • 5 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 3 teaspoons dried basil
  • 3 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1-1/2 cups dry red wine
  • 3 cans (28 ounces each) diced tomatoes, undrained
  • 1-1/2 cups beef stock
  • 6 bay leaves
  • 3 cups 2% milk
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • Hot cooked linguine


  1. In a stockpot, cook half the beef over medium heat until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles, 8-10 minutes. Remove beef with a slotted spoon; set aside. Pour off drippings. Repeat with remaining beef.
  2. In the same stockpot, heat oil over medium heat. Add onions, carrots and celery; cook and stir until tender. Stir in 1 cup tomato paste; cook and stir 3 minutes longer. Add garlic, seasonings and beef.
  3. Stir in wine. Bring to a boil; cook until almost evaporated. Add tomatoes, stock and bay leaves; return to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, until desired consistency, about 3 hours, stirring in milk halfway through cooking.
  4. Remove bay leaves. Stir in cheese and remaining tomato paste; heat through. Serve with linguine and, if desired, additional cheese.

Bolognese Sauce Tips

How do you store bolognese sauce?

Bolognese sauce will last in the refrigerator for up to five days. If you want to extend the freshness, pour cooled sauce into a freezer-friendly container and tightly seal. Properly stored, it will keep for up to three months. When you're ready to use your bolognese recipe, thaw it in the refrigerator overnight before reheating over low heat on the stovetop or in the microwave. Microwave in 1-minute intervals, stirring frequently until it’s hot and bubbly.

What is the best type of pasta to pair with a bolognese recipe?

Traditionally, bolognese is served with long, flat noodles called tagliatelle, but you can substitute fettucine or pappardelle pasta. Feeling adventurous? Try making your own homemade pasta dough. Here's more on pasta shapes and when to use them.

How do you make bolognese sauce thicker?

Bolognese will become thicker after cooking for an extended period, along with the addition of tomato paste. Continue to cook past the three hours if you’re looking for a thicker bolognese.

Research contributed by Sarah Fischer, Taste of Home Culinary Assistant

Nutrition Facts

1 cup (calculated without pasta and additional cheese): 269 calories, 12g fat (4g saturated fat), 53mg cholesterol, 938mg sodium, 17g carbohydrate (10g sugars, 4g fiber), 20g protein.