Secret Ingredient Bolognese Sauce

By: Kelly Senyei of Just a Taste

Bolognese is the ultimate family-friendly recipe, and budget-friendly, too! So how do you take this Italian classic up a notch? Drum roll… add ground cinnamon! The warming spice is a perfect flavor complement when simmered with ground beef, crushed tomatoes, brown sugar and dried oregano. Make a double batch and freeze half for homemade bolognese in a fraction of the time.

Pro Tip: Cook your pasta of choice while you make the sauce for a complete meal in 30 minutes.


Bolognese Sauce

  • 2 pounds Snake River Farms ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup minced yellow onion
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon light brown sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 (6-oz.) can tomato paste
  • 1 (28-oz.) can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 (28-oz.) can tomato sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Bolognese Sauce

Add the olive oil to a large, heavy-bottomed stock pot set over medium-low heat, then add the onions and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onions are soft, about 5 minutes. Add the brown sugar and ground cinnamon and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes.
Increase the heat to medium. Add the ground beef and a pinch of salt and cook, breaking apart the meat with a spatula, until it is cooked through and no longer pink, 5 to 7 minutes.
Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until it begins to caramelize, about 5 minutes.
Stir in the crushed tomatoes, tomato sauce and dried oregano. Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot and simmer the sauce for 10 minutes.
Remove the lid, taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper then serve.