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close up of a bowl of pasta Bolognese
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5 from 1 vote

Easy Pasta Bolognese Recipe

Make this easy pasta Bolognese recipe either on the stovetop or pressure cooker with only 5 pantry ingredients.  Dinner is ready in less than 30 minutes and is comforting and delish!  It's the best shortcut version of the Italian classic ever on a budget!
Course:Entree
Cuisine:Italian
Keywords:pasta bolognese, pasta bolognese recipe, pasta with bolognese sauce
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories683 kcal
Cost $ 1.50 per person

Equipment

  • stotetop
  • pressure cooker

Ingredients

  • 1 pound ground beef (15-20% fat)
  • 6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 cup wine (white or red) or chicken/beef broth (if on a keto diet, use broth)
  • 28 oz tomato sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 12 oz penne or any other pasta (FOR A GF version, use a gluten-free pasta, and for a KETO version, use a keto pasta or zoodles)

Instructions

  • STOVETOP METHOD:
    Heat a large nonstick pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and let cook for about 5-6 minutes, or until browned. Make sure to break apart and separate the chunks using a wooden spoon.
  • Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and let cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine or broth, stirring well, to loosen any meat from the bottom, and let cook for about 2 minutes or until reduced.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce, water, and pasta, making sure the liquids are well mixed with the pasta. Cover and let cook for about 10-12 minutes (it varies depending on the type of pasta you use), or until al dente. Stir pasta occasionally during the cooking process.
  • If you use a chicken or beef broth with a good sodium content, you may not need added salt. But if you use wine, stir about ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt into the liquids before cooking pasta.
  • (OPTIONAL) Only if desired, add frozen peas to the pasta about 4-5 minutes before cooking ends. Garnish with Parmesan and fresh basil leaves if desired.
  • INSTANT POT OR PRESSURE COOKER:
    Press the sauté button to heat the Instant Pot or pressure cooker. Add the ground beef and stir constantly with a wood spoon until browned, about 5-6 minutes. Stirring constantly breaks apart the meat chunks and prevents the meat from sticking too much. The meat will stick less if is at room temperature, or if the meat is cold but you add just a little bit of oil.
  • Add garlic and let cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add wine or broth, stirring well, to loosen any meat from the bottom, and let cook for about 2 minutes or until reduced.
  • Stir in the tomato sauce, water, and pasta, making sure the liquids are well mixed with the pasta. Cancel the sauté function, secure the lid, turn the valve, and set manually on high pressure for 5 minutes.
  • When the cooking time comes to an end, do a quick release. Remove lid and make sure pasta is al dente. (OPTIONAL) Only if desired, add cooked peas to the pasta. Garnish with Parmesan and fresh basil leaves if desired.

Recipe Notes

IMPORTANT: If you use a chicken or beef broth with a good sodium content, you may not need salt. But if you use wine, stir about ½ to 1 teaspoon of salt into the liquids before adding the pasta.
WW FREESTYLE SMART POINTS: 21 (for less points, use broth and zoodles instead of wine and pasta).  
  • Storage: There are two ways:
  1. The best way is to store the sauce separate from the pasta in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days or to freeze them. The sauce lasts for up to 3 months in the freezer and the pasta, cooked al dente, is good for up to a month, as you can see in this easy freezer meals guide. Before freezing the pasta, toss with a little bit of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking together.
  2. You can toss the sauce with the pasta and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days or can freeze for up to one month. Just keep in mind that the sauce will be absorbed by the pasta, thickening it a lot. When reheating, add a little bit of water, broth, or tomato sauce.
  • Substitutes:
  1. You can use ground turkey or chicken instead of ground beef.
  2. Substitute garlic for onion, or (red or white) wine for chicken or beef broth. If on a keto diet, use broth!
  3. Use most flat noodles (tagliatelle, pappardelle, fettuccine, and spaghetti) or tubular pastas like rigatoni and even penne. If on a keto diet, use either a keto pasta or zoodles. If on a GF diet, use a gluten-free pasta

Nutrition

Calories: 683kcal | Carbohydrates: 76g | Protein: 33g | Fat: 24g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 81mg | Sodium: 1128mg | Potassium: 1200mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 11g | Vitamin A: 859IU | Vitamin C: 15mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 6mg
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