With a few tricks and only five ingredients, you can make the BEST Pasta with Bolognese sauce at home- the kind where the sauce clings to every piece of pasta and has the most authentic Italian taste!
Total Time:25 minutes
16 oz. pasta (I used rigatoni, but you can use whatever shape you want)
1 24-oz. jar high-quality marinara sauce (I used Rao’s)
1 lb. lean ground beef
2 tablespoons high-quality extra virgin olive oil (I like California Olive Ranch)
1/4 cup finely grated pecorino romano cheese, plus more for serving
plenty of kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
chopped fresh parsley, for garnish (optional)
Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil. It should be as salty as the ocean- taste it if you aren’t sure.
Cook pasta until just before it’s al dente (about 2 minutes before the time designated on the package).
Meanwhile, cook ground beef in a large deep skillet until fully cooked. As you are cooking it, break it into very small pieces. I used a potato masher to make sure it got broken up enough.
Move the beef to one side of the skillet and tilt it in order to separate the grease/liquid. Remove the grease with a spoon and discard.
Add the marinara sauce to the ground beef. Stir, cover, and simmer until heated through.
When pasta is done just before it’s al dente, reserve 1-2 cups of the pasta water and drain the rest. Don’t drain too thoroughly- it’s OK, and actually a good thing, if it has some of the water clinging to it.
Add the drained pasta to the skillet with the sauce. If the skillet is too small, you can add the pasta back into the pot in which it cooked, and add the sauce to it.
Stir to coat the pasta in the sauce in the skillet or pot and keep heat on medium low. Add 1/4 cup of the reserved pasta water, stirring to coat. Add more pasta water as necessary to help the pasta finish cooking to al dente- it will help the sauce thicken and stick to every piece of pasta (I used about 3/4 cup total).
Turn off the heat. Stir in olive oil and pecorino romano cheese. Taste and add salt if necessary.
Serve immediately with extra pecorino romano and garnished with fresh parsley, seasoned with fresh ground black pepper.
You can use parmesan as a substitute for pecorino romano, if you prefer.
If you choose to use whole wheat pasta, be aware that because it is less starchy, it will be more difficult to get the sauce to cling to the pasta as well.
I do my best to provide accurate nutrition information for my recipes, but I am not a nutritionist. The provided nutrition information is my best estimate. It does not include any added sodium from seasoning to taste, any optional ingredients, and it does not take brands into account. Feel free to calculate it yourself using this calculator or by adding the recipe to Yummly.