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Pappardelle Bolognese

This Pappardelle Bolognese is the perfect family dinner!

pappardelle bolognese on a white plate

In my house, Pappardelle Bolognese is a big time favorite. All of us usually order it on a menu if spotted in a restaurant. It’s such a great Italian dish. The meat sauce is simmered for a good amount of time, resulting in a rich and velvety sauce that is so flavorful and comforting. This is a family recipe that I’ve made for many years. I like to make on the weekend since it simmers away on the stove and makes the house smell amazing!

ingredients displayed for pappardelle bolognese

Ingredients needed:

  • olive oil
  • butter
  • onion, carrot and celery
  • ground beef and ground sausage
  • whole milk
  • ground nutmeg, salt and pepper
  • white wine
  • canned whole plum tomatoes
  • pappardelle pasta
  • grated Parmesan cheese
  • fresh basil


Go to your market’s meat counter and ask for exact amounts of ground beef and ground sausage. You’ll need 8 ounces of each for this recipe. You can substitute chopped tomatoes for the whole tomatoes, if you’d like. My favorite choice for the tomatoes is to use the canned San Marzano (Italian style) tomatoes. Look for them in your market’s canned tomato section. They’re a little more expensive, but I feel like they have a much greater depth of flavor than regular canned tomatoes.

pot of bolognese sauce

How to make Pappardelle Bolognese:

Onion, celery and carrots are sautéed in oil and butter until tender. Then the ground beef and sausage are added in and cooked with the vegetables. Whole milk is then added in, and it’s simmered with the meat and vegetables until it evaporates. Milk is a classic component of bolognese sauce. It adds a richer depth of flavor and it will make the meat more tender.

Nutmeg, salt, pepper and wine are added in and the sauce is simmered until the wine evaporates. Then the tomatoes and their juices are added in. At this point, the sauce is set to simmer for 3 hours. If it seems to dry at any point during the cooking process, you can add in a cup of water.

pappardelle bolognese on a white plate

At the end of your sauce’s cooking time, you can prepare your pasta. Bolognese is traditionally made with pappardelle pasta- a large, flat, wide pasta noodle. You can substitute another kind of pasta, if you prefer. Divide the cooked pasta among your serving bowls, top with a generous portion of sauce. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese and fresh basil on top.

forkful of pappardelle bolognese on a plate

The wide pappardelle pasta ribbons are absorbent and sturdy, making them the perfect bed of pasta to soak up all of that fabulous bolognese sauce.

forkful of pasta

Every bite is so delicious! The photos here show shredded Parmesan cheese added to this Pappardelle Bolognese. Alternately, you use grated Parmesan cheese for serving.

fork on plate of pappardelle bolognese

It’s time to get some bolognese sauce simmering so you can have this awesome pasta dish for dinner. Enjoy!

Here are a few more pasta recipes you might like to try:

pappardelle bolognese on a white plate

Pappardelle Bolognese
The best!
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 3 hours 20 minutes
Total Time 4 hours
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 servings
Calories 1030 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 cup diced onion
  • ½ cup diced celery
  • ½ cup diced carrots
  • 8 ounces ground beef
  • 8 ounces ground sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ¼ teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • One 28-ounce can whole plum tomatoes, chopped (juices included)
  • 16 ounces pappardelle pasta, cooked and drained (save a little bit of the pasta cooking water)
  • ¼ cup (or more) freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • chopped fresh basil, optional


  • In a Dutch oven or large saucepan, heat the oil and butter over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery and carrots; saute for 5 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Add the ground beef and sausage and cook for about 5 minutes (until browned), breaking up the meat into smaller pieces.
  • Add the milk and simmer for 8 minutes, until the milk is evaporated. Stir in the nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add the wine and simmer until the wine is evaporated. Add the tomatoes and their juices and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 3 hours, stirring occasionally. If the sauce becomes too dry, add water- 1 cup at a time.
  • At the end of the simmering time, prepare the pappardelle pasta according to package instructions.
  • Divide the pasta evenly between four serving bowls and top with the sauce. Sprinkle each serving with Parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh basil leaves (if using).


  • You may substitute chopped tomatoes for the whole tomatoes, if you'd like.


Serving: 1servingCalories: 1030kcalCarbohydrates: 105gProtein: 43gFat: 44gSaturated Fat: 18gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 17gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 123mgSodium: 1409mgPotassium: 1262mgFiber: 7gSugar: 14gVitamin A: 3453IUVitamin C: 24mgCalcium: 337mgIron: 6mg
Keyword bolognese, pappardelle, pasta
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
Recipe Rating

Katherine A Dietz

Wednesday 28th of April 2021

We don't drink alcohol so what can I substitute for the wine? Thanks Katherine


Monday 3rd of May 2021

Beef broth