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Basic Beef Bolognese

Ground turkey can be used as a substitute for the meat in this tomato-based sauce recipe. Or try a vegetarian version with mushrooms.

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  • Yields: About 10 cups
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 45 mins

Basic Beef Bolognese



  1. In 4- to 5-quart Dutch oven cook beef, onions, carrots, celery, and garlic over medium heat for 10 minutes or until browned. Drain fat.
  2. Stir in tomatoes, tomato paste, beer, Italian seasoning, sugar, 1/2 salt, and red pepper. Bring to boiling over medium-high heat; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, 30 minutes. Stir in fresh basil and cook, uncovered, 5 minutes more, stirring often. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Divide sauce into 1-cup or 2-cup portions in airtight freezer containers. Let cool 30 minutes before covering. Freeze up to 6 months. Thaw and use to make Smoky Calzones, or other tomato sauce recipes. Makes about 10 cups.

From the Test Kitchen

Quick Thaw:

Thaw in microwave at 30 percent power (medium-low) for 5 to 6 minutes for 1-cup portion or 10 to 12 minutes for 2-cup portion, stirring halfway through.

Substitute ground turkey for the beef or, for a meatless version, omit the meat and cook 2 lb. of sliced mushrooms (about 12 cups) with the veggies in 2 tablespoons hot olive oil for 15 minutes; add remaining ingredients and cook as directed.

Nutrition Facts (Basic Beef Bolognese)

    Per serving:
  • 238 kcal cal.,
  • 9 g fat
  • (3 g sat. fat,
  • 1 g polyunsaturated fat,
  • 4 g monounsatured fat),
  • 57 mg chol.,
  • 535 mg sodium,
  • 20 g carb.,
  • 5 g fiber,
  • 8 g sugar,
  • 20 g pro.
  • Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet



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