Quick Cabernet Bolognese Sauce


Total Time:



Quick Cabernet Bolognese Sauce from What's Gaby Cooking

Is it weird to crave Bolognese sauce in the summer?

I hope not. Because it’s one of those year round comfort foods for me. I seriously can’t get enough.

Bolognese sauce is one of those quintessential recipes that you’ve always got to have in your back pocket. It feeds a crowd, comforts just about everyone and is one of the best ways to whip up a quick dinner.

Quick Cabernet Bolognese Sauce from What's Gaby Cooking!

I like my Bolognese sauce simmered with lots of red wine. A Cabernet Sauvignon is perfect for this. It’s dark fruit and blackberry components make this sauce seriously stand out in a crowd.

Bolognese sauce is basically a combination of some sautéed aromatics like onions, celery, carrots and garlic, some dried herbs like basil and thyme and then ground beef. Sometimes I’ll use a little ground pork too, but for simplicity reasons, you can stick with ground beef. Once everything gets sautéed and the meat begins to brown, you just add in a little red wine and let the wine reduce to really intensify the flavor. Then you just finish it out with some whole milk and some crushed tomatoes to give it that great bright red color and let it simmer for a bit so the flavors can really develop and shine.

This is a great dish to make a day ahead of time too! I even like to make big batches of this and then freeze it in smaller portions so I can take it out of the freezer and re-heat it when I need a delicious and comforting meal. One thing to keep in mind when you’re making a sauce such as this, go ahead and season it a little bit with salt and pepper throughout the cooking process. It’s going to give you more flavor than just seasoning it at the end of cooking!

So I guess the moral of the story is, I should make a big batch of this right about now and then freeze little portions so I’ve got it ready to go throughout the summer when a Bolognese craving strikes!

Step by step pictures are coming at ya….

ready, set, go!

(Recipe at the bottom!)

Step by Step Photo Tutorial for a Quick Cabernet Bolognese Sauce

Step by Step Photo Tutorial for a Quick Cabernet Bolognese Sauce

Step by Step Photo Tutorial for a Quick Cabernet Bolognese Sauce

Step by Step Photo Tutorial for a Quick Cabernet Bolognese Sauce

Step by Step Photo Tutorial for a Quick Cabernet Bolognese Sauce

Step by Step Photo Tutorial for a Quick Cabernet Bolognese Sauce

Step by Step Photo Tutorial for a Quick Cabernet Bolognese Sauce

Step by Step Photo Tutorial for a Quick Cabernet Bolognese Sauce

Step by Step Photo Tutorial for a Quick Cabernet Bolognese Sauce

Step by Step Photo Tutorial for a Quick Cabernet Bolognese Sauce

Quick Cabernet Bolognese Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian


  • 1 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion finely chopped
  • 3 medium stalks of celery finely chopped
  • 2 large carrots finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1- pound ground beef 10% fat or less
  • 3/4 cup The Naked Grape Cabernet Sauvignon
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 2 cups canned crushed tomatoes
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 10 ounces dry spaghetti pasta
  • Optional: Freshly grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil to serve


  • Heat the olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat.
  • Once the oil shimmers, add the onion, celery, and carrots and sauté for about 5-7 minutes until the onions are translucent and the carrot begins to soften. Add the garlic, basil and thyme and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine and cook the garlic for about 1 minute.
  • Add the ground beef and using a wooden, spoon break up the meat into small pieces and stir to combine. Sauté the beef until no pink remains and the beef starts to brown.
  • Add the wine and lower the heat to medium so the sauce continues to slightly bubbly. Stir occasionally until the wine has reduced by at least half. Carefully, scrape up any brown bites stuck to the bottom of the skillet while the wine cooks down.
  • Add the milk and crushed tomatoes and stir to combine. Let the sauce continue to simmer for about 15 minutes more until it thickens. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to the package directions. Once the pasta is al dente, drain the water off and season the pasta with a pinch or two of salt. Mix the pasta and the Bolognese together and serve as needed.
  • Top with Parmesan cheese and fresh basil if desired.

5 Tips from a Private Chef email series

Get my latest recipes + my bonus 5 Tips From a Private Chef email series

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating


  1. Nancy [email protected]

    When we go to Italy the first thing we have is my mother in laws Ragu! And it is normally the middle of August with no air conditioning! I could eat this any day any season anywhere! Looks delicious!

  2. Marie @ Little Kitchie

    Not a weird craving at all!! This looks awesome!

  3. Katya O’Leary

    LOL!! I just told my husband that a Bolognese sauce was exactly what I wanted!! You read my mind!! I, too, questioned the seasonality BUT I decided this looks fabulous and will be on my menu this week!! Thanks!!

    • Gaby

      thanks girl!! can’t wait to see you this week

    • Gaby

      right!! especially for june gloom days 🙂

    • Gaby

      if I were in Seattle I’d come make it for ya!

  4. Julie @ Table for Two

    love the addition of cabernet in this bolognese!! i’m so hungry just looking at this!

  5. Kevin @ Closet Cooking

    You can’t go wrong with a wine bolognese!

  6. Amy

    wondered where the Naked Grape wine is sold and if it is nitrate free which I assume it is. :o)

    • Gaby

      The Naked Grape is real, fresh and original wine – it is available wherever wine is sold. You can contact the CIC consumer relations department on the toll free number (888-653-4773) or via the “Contact Us” page link on http://www.thenakedgrapewine.com/ for more specific information.

      Hope that helps!!

  7. Monika

    I never thought of doing a red wine reduction in my sauce. What a great idea. This has just been added to my check list.

  8. Ashley @ Wishes and Dishes

    If it’s weird to crave this sauce in the summer then I’m weird right along with you!! 🙂 Looks great!


    […] Quick Cabernet Bolognese Sauce | What's Gaby Cooking […]

  10. Meal Plan: Summer 2014 Week 7

    […] Cabernet Bolognese from What’s Gaby Cooking? […]

  11. Christina CL Tan

    I reduced a whole bottle of wine for this recipe and supped the milk for obvious reasons. Smells heavenly and I am serving it for Chinese Lunar New Year 2016 dinner along with the traditional YuSheng.
    Thanks! Fabulous Recipe!

  12. Reduce, Reuse, Recycle – Lush Life by HazelGrey

    […] your leftover bottle to make yummy dishes like red wine bolognese sauce, coq au vin, or even chicken picatta. When the wine cooks down whatever was bad about it ceases to […]

  13. Molly

    Gaby, I just felt like you should know that this has been one of my family’s standby recipes literally since you posted it! We probably eat it every 2 weeks or so. So easy and SO delicious.

  14. Alice l Bodnar

    I just can’t wait to make it. I wanted to know what kind of pan are you cooking in ?. I need to buy some new ones. I’ve been using my mum cast iron. Please let me know and I’ll be looking for more recipes.
    Thank You

  15. Linda Marie

    5 stars
    I made this last night using homemade pasta from a new pasta shop in town. This might be the yummiest thing I have ever cooked. It was fancy restaurant quality. Linda