The Best Bucatini Bolognese you will ever eat! Full of flavor and rich texture, it’s a labor of love that is so worth the effort for its comfort and enjoyment.

The Best Bucatini Bolognese by The BakerMama

The Meal of All Meals

I’m finally sharing our favorite bolognese recipe and I couldn’t be more excited for you to enjoy it with your loved ones. It’s seriously the Best Bucatini Bolognese I’ve ever had. The sauce is a complex combination of meat and vegetables that comes together so tantalizingly in both taste and texture. Tossed with bucatini pasta (the best pasta to pair with bolognese) and you’ve got yourself the meal of all meals.

The Best Bucatini Bolognese by The BakerMama

Brandon’s Best

Our love for this bolognese recipe runs deep. Brandon has been making it for us for years. It’s one of his signature dishes that we all beg him to make on the regular. A recipe that he loves making and that we love eating!

Whether he makes it for us to enjoy as a family or with a group of friends (and several bottles of wine) or to fulfill a birthday dinner request… I could go on and on describing the occasions Brandon has made this bucatini bolognese and the utter enjoyment it has brought to us and those we share it with.

The Best Bucatini Bolognese by The BakerMama

What Me Make Bucatini Bolognese

Step into the kitchen with me as I make this amazing bolognese sauce!

A Family Affair

Baker loves Brandon’s bolognese so much that he’s took quite an interest in learning how it’s made. It’s has been so special seeing his curiosity and confidence grow in the kitchen. And super cute seeing how he sticks his tongue out in full concentration when he cooks, just like his mama does.

Everyone at the table oohing and aahing over the deliciousness of this recipe for. Sure, it takes a special line-up of quality ingredients and some patience in cooking time. But once you see that beautiful sauce simmering on your stovetop, you’ll be overcome with a sense of pride in preparation to serve it.

The Best Bucatini Bolognese by The BakerMama

More Family Favorite Recipes You’ll Love

  • Susu’s Sour Cream Pound Cake: Moist and tender with a crackly crust, my mom’s pound cake pairs beautifully with seasonal fresh fruits for a simple, crowd-pleasing dessert that’s sure to become a family favorite.
  • Great Aunt Ina’s Apple Dumplings: Perfectly flaky pastry with juicy tart apples and an amazing cinnamon sugar syrup making these dumplings the ultimate dessert. So comforting and delicious!
  • Brandon’s Best Margarita: Better than any restaurant margarita, it’s as simple as it is delicious.
  • Grandma’s Pecan Pie: With a flaky crust on bottom, crunchy pecans on top and a gooey filling in the middle, no Thanksgiving table is complete without Grandma’s Pecan Pie!

What Do I Need to Make Bucatini Bolognese?

The Best Bucatini Bolognese by The BakerMama

Quick Tips: Before You Make this Bolognese

Here are they key ingredients and steps that make this bucatini bolognese so incredible:

  • Browning the ground pork and ground beef to where it’s starting to really crisp adds so much flavor. 
  • The mushrooms add earthiness and the stalks celery and carrots bring out such a nice, slight sweetness.
  • Milk adds creaminess while the wine offers acidity that binds and brings out so many of the flavors. 
  • The cheese rinds add nuttiness as they simmer in the sauce. 
  • And speaking of simmer…don’s skip it! A lengthy simmer marries all the flavors together so perfectly.

How to Make The Best Bucatini Bolognese

  • In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes.
  • Add in the mushrooms, garlic, onions, carrots and celery. Cook slowly until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.
  • In another large pot over medium heat, heat the other 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add both meats and cook slowly, stirring frequently, until the meat is browned and starting to really crisp, at least 30 minutes. Salt and pepper generously. Stir in red pepper flakes, if desired.
The Best Bucatini Bolognese by The BakerMama
  • Add the tomato paste to the meat mixture and sauté for 5 minutes.
  • Deglaze the pot with the vegetables by adding 1 cup of the red wine.
  • Transfer everything from the vegetable pot to the pot with the meat. Add the remaining red wine and deglaze the pot. Scrape all the bits and pieces that might accumulate and let simmer to start reducing, for about 10 minutes.
The Best Bucatini Bolognese by The BakerMama

Do I Have to Use Bucatini?

You don’t have to, but I highly recommend it! It’s the best of the best. The hallowed-out, chewy, long pasta gets coated AND FILLED with sauce which gives you more sauce with each bite. The perfect vehicle for this bolognese.

  • Add the chicken stock, milk, crushed tomatoes and cheese rinds and let simmer over low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Remove what is left of the cheese rinds and discard. Stir the minced basil and thyme into the sauce. Let the sauce sit while you prepare the pasta.
  • Cook the bucatini pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain all but a 1/2 cup of water off of the pasta and put the pasta directly into the pot of bolognese sauce.
The Best Bucatini Bolognese by The BakerMama
  • Simmer for 2 minutes to incorporate the sauce into the pasta, adding the reserved pasta water as necessary.
The Best Bucatini Bolognese by The BakerMama
  • Plate each portion of bolognese coated bucatini and then finish with the grated parmesan, torn basil and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.
The Best Bucatini Bolognese by The BakerMama

I hope you enjoy making it and eating it as much as we do! If you make The Best Bucatini Bolognese, be sure to snap a picture and share it with me or tag me on Instagram @thebakermama so I can see. 😍 I love seeing how inspired and creative y’all get with the recipes I share. Enjoy!

xoxo,

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The Best Bucatini Bolognese by The BakerMama

The Best Bucatini Bolognese

  • Author: Maegan – The BakerMama
  • Prep Time: 1 hour
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours
  • Yield: 6-8 1x
  • Category: Main

Description

The best bolognese you will ever eat. Full of flavor and rich texture, it’s a labor of love that is so worth the effort to make for its comfort and enjoyment.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 4 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 4 ounces pancetta or bacon, minced
  • 1 cup baby portabella mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 5 cloves garlic, finely minced
  • 1 medium onion, finely diced
  • 2 large carrots, finely diced
  • 6 celery ribs, finely diced
  • 1 pound ground pork
  • 1 pound ground chuck
  • kosher salt
  • fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 (28 ounce) can crushed tomatoes (such as San Marzano)
  • 34 small cheese rinds from Parmesan or Pecorino Romano
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh basil, plus more for garnishing
  • 2 teaspoons minced fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 pound dry bucatini pasta
  • 1/2 cup thinly fresh grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese

Instructions

  1. In a large pot, heat 2 tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the pancetta and cook until browned, about 3-5 minutes. Add in the mushrooms, garlic, onions, carrots and celery. Cook slowly until vegetables are soft, about 20 minutes.
  2. In another large pot over medium heat, heat the other 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add both meats and cook slowly, stirring frequently, until the meat is browned and starting to really crisp, at least 30 minutes. Salt and pepper generously. Stir in red pepper flakes, if desired.
  3. Add the tomato paste to the meat mixture and sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Deglaze the pot with the vegetables by adding 1 cup of the red wine. Transfer everything from the vegetable pot to the pot with the meat. Add the remaining red wine and deglaze the pot. Scrape all the bits and pieces that might accumulate and let simmer to start reducing, for about 10 minutes.
  5. Add the chicken stock, milk, crushed tomatoes and cheese rinds and let simmer over low heat for 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  6. Remove what is left of the cheese rinds and discard. Stir the minced basil and thyme into the sauce. Let the sauce sit while you prepare the pasta.
  7. Cook the bucatini pasta according to package directions until al dente. Drain all but a 1/2 cup of water off of the pasta and put the pasta directly into the pot of bolognese sauce. Simmer for 2 minutes to incorporate the sauce into the pasta, adding the reserved pasta water as necessary.
  8. Plate each portion of bolognese coated bucatini and then finish with the grated parmesan, torn basil and a drizzle of extra-virgin olive oil.

This recipe was adapted from Chef Geoffrey Zakarian’s Perciatelli with Bolognese recipe as seen on The Best Thing I Ever Made on Food Network.

About The BakerMama

Maegan is the author of her best-selling Beautiful Boards, Spectacular Spreads and Brilliant Bites cookbooks. She started blogging in 2012 and features hundreds of original recipes on The BakerMama. She truly enjoys sharing her easy, family-friendly recipes, creative meal ideas, food board creations, and entertaining spreads to encourage others to get in the kitchen and make something memorable for their loved ones to enjoy together. Learn More

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Comments

  1. Really is the Best one I have ever tried. The point of allowing the pork & beef mixture to start to get crispy is so right on. We will be making this over & over.

  2. This was so GOOD…DELISH!! THIS WAS MY 2nd time making it and this time I use some white wine with 1/4 cup of balsamic vinegar and qTbsp of brown sugar to cut the acidity of the tomatoes. The kids again love it and jump on the left over….lol

    This will be a recipe that I will make over and over!

    Thanks for sharing 🤗🤗

  3. Can you make the sauce with just ground chuck and not pork? This sounds delicious. Thank you for taking the time to write and take pictures. You are very talented!

    1. Hi Yvonda! If you can’t find the rinds, I would recommend just omitting that step and then sprinkling a little extra on at the end. Enjoy!

  4. What type of wine do you recommend? I am not a red drinker so always unsure which red to use. Thank you.
    And I have made it before and it is amazing. Just could not remember what red to buy.

  5. Ok, so this looks amazing. Like I cannot wait to try it. So my living situation…I live with 5 roommates ranging from 11-35. The 11 year old eats anything. The 35 year old is the pickiest eater I have ever had to deal with lol. We do “family dinners” most nights. Jason, my picky eater, will not eat any vegetable except green beans and corn. However, if he doesn’t know the vegetables are in there, he will eat it. I also have another who loves the taste of onions but can’t stand their texture. I love most vegetables especially onions and bell peppers. Would it work if I purée the vegetables down to a paste? I, of course, want to make it the right way, but the two haters would never touch it if they saw it or bit into an onion or celery or whichever vegetable. What are your thoughts?

    1. Hi Brandon! It is so amazing! I’m excited for you to make it for your family! I think you could definitely puree the vegetables to disguise them. Just wait to add them once the pancetta is browned since they’ll be pureed, they won’t need as much time to soften. I hope everyone gives it a two thumbs up! Enjoy!

  6. Amazing!!!! Followed the recipe and came out perfectly ! Beyond delicious , even used bucatini. Question: can I freeze left over sauce? And if yes, how and how would I defrost ?

  7. I am currently cooking this for the first time! I drained the meat mixture of the fat.
    Am I supposed to?
    The recipe doesn’t indicate whether or not I drain it.
    I cheated and had a sample and it is already AMAZING!
    I knew it would be good since I have tried your chili recipe too.

    1. Hi Jane! You don’t need to drain the meat. You should actually cook it to crisp where there’s not very much to drain anyway. Hope you enjoyed it! So happy to hear you loved the chili too! 🙂

  8. Does this sauce freeze well? My daughter will be having a baby soon and I am looking for some make ahead recipes that freeze well.

    1. Hi Jean! Yes, it freezes great! Just let it cool completely and store it in a freezer-safe baggie or container for up to 3 months. Enjoy and best wishes with your new grandbaby! 🙂

  9. This looks really good, and I’ll be making it today for sure. Do you put a lid on for simmering or leave uncovered?

  10. Hello Maegan
    You mention 6 celery ribs in the ingredient list (I think a bit much; 2-3 should be fine) but then no mention of celery in the directions.

    1. Oh goodness! Thanks for letting me know. I just updated the instructions to include the celery with the other vegetables in the first step of the recipe. Enjoy!

  11. Maegan I made this (exactly as written) for my family yesterday and it was FANTASTIC!! And yes, it definitely is a “labor of love.” Thank you so much for sharing this great recipe with us. I am adding it to my “go-to-recipes” for future meals.

    1. Yay Stephanie! That’s so great to hear! We love it so much and we’re so happy others are enjoying it as well. 🙂

    1. It was absolutely fabulous! So full of flavor ! Deliciousness on an plate! My husband and I loved it it’s a beautiful looking dish and the aroma is intoxicating. Yes it does take a bit of prep and cook time but trust me it’s so worth it. I find the rinds and the cheeses at my local delallo store. I have printed this recipe three times just incase one gets ruined I want to make sure I never lose it I think you should print it in a cookbook along with your other wonderful dishes I’m looking forward to trying in the future it would be nice to have a book.

      1. Hi Christine! Thank you for sharing! I’m so happy to hear you are enjoying this recipe as much as we do. It’s a labor of love and such a special meal that everyone enjoys. I hope y’all continue to enjoy for years to come!

  12. Love the beef but didn’t love much the Bucatini. Hard to get them mix with the beef. Will use regular spaghettis next time.

  13. I really enjoy your website and thank you for all the tremendous efforts you put into it to share with all who read it….
    I have a question about the Bolognese recipe… I don’t understand what the “Cheese Rinds” are. I’ve never heard it put that way. Would you please explain to me.. Thank you Maegan, and have a blessed day!

    1. Hi Suzanne! The cheese rind is the outside layer that forms on the cheese during the aging process. It’s harder and drier yet strong in flavor. It won’t melt in the sauce but rather infuse it with extra flavor. You can ask the cheese department at your grocery store if they have any rinds they can sell you. I have a few grocery stores here in Dallas I can go to that package and sell just the rinds. Hope this helps and thanks for your sweet words! Enjoy!

    2. Parmesan cheese rind. (What’s left after the cheese is gone). I save my rinds and freeze them for soups, bolognese, etc.