This rigatoni bolognese is one of the best pasta dishes ever! It is one of my go-to recipes as it is very easy to make, super delicious and healthy. Plus, it is perfect for meal prep! Serve it with a side salad for a delicious and healthy dinner.
This rigatoni bolognese recipe ticks all the boxes: it is super easy to make, is perfect for meal prep as you can easily cook a large batch of bolognese and freeze it, tastes suuuper delicious and is healthy. This seriously is one of those dishes I can’t get enough of. The ingredients needed to make bolognese are actually very basic, but throw them together and you end up with the most delicious sauce that is packed with flavor! If you are looking for a delicious pasta recipe, then definitely make this one. You won’t regret it, promise.
While this rigatoni bolognese recipe is not an authentic one, it is very similar to a classic and traditional bolognese. I made some changes to keep this recipe as healthy, light and easy as possible. Here is what you need to make the rigatoni bolognese:
- Ground Beef.
- Rigatoni. You can use any type of rigatoni. I love to use whole-wheat or chickpea rigatoni, but feel free to choose the type of pasta you like.
- Tomato paste.
- Red wine. You could also use white wine if you don’t like red wine. If you don’t want to use any type of wine, I highly recommend using beef bone broth as it gives lots of flavor.
- Tomato passata. You can also use any other type of canned or jarred tomato (sauce). Just make sure there are no added sugars in the sauce.
- Bay leaf.
- Parmesan and basil (optional). I love using chopped basil and grated parmesan to garnish this dish. They give extra flavor and make the rigatoni bolognese look super fancy and delish!
How to make rigatoni bolognese
Making rigatoni bolognese is super easy and simple! Here are the steps you need to follow to make this delicious pasta dish:
- Prepare the ingredients. First, preheat a pan or pot over medium heat. Then, rinse and chop the vegetables and mince the garlic.
- Sauté. Next, sauté the vegetables and garlic first until they start to soften. Then, add the ground beef, salt and pepper and sauté until the beef has browned. Add the tomato paste and sauté a bit more as this adds flavor to the sauce.
- Simmer the bolognese. Now, add the red wine and tomato passata to the vegetables and beef. Add the bay leaf and let the sauce simmer for 15 minutes with the pot covered.
- Cook the rigatoni. While the bolognese simmers, you can cook the rigatoni.
- Mix. Before you mix the rigatoni with the sauce, check if you need to add a bit of water to the bolognese. Only add water if the sauce is too thick. Then, add the rigatoni, mix everything, add more salt and pepper if needed and serve with grated parmesan and fresh basil.
As with most recipes, there is always room for your modifications. Here are some ideas for you:
- No wine: If you don’t have any wine or simply don’t want to use it, you can totally use beef bone broth! That way you can skip the wine, but still make a flavorful bolognese .
- Spicy bolognese: I really love this classic rigatoni bolognese recipe, but sometimes I just need a bit of extra spice and flavor. If you are like me, then try adding a bit of paprika powder. I also looove using red pepper paste instead of tomato paste. It gives the bolognese a slight Mediterranean taste without being overpowering.
- Make it gluten free: There are lots of gluten free pasta alternatives out there. They all work great with this recipe, just make sure you read the instructions as they all have a different cook time.
This recipe is a favorite for meal prepping. I just love that this rigatoni bolognese does not lose its flavor when it is stored in the refrigerator or freezer. You can store this dish in:
- The refrigerator: Simply store the bolognese with or without the pasta in a container. It stays good for 3-4 days. When you reheat it, try adding a bit of water as the sauce tends to get thick when it is stored in the refrigerator.
- The freezer: When I freeze the rigatoni bolognese, I only freeze the bolognese and make fresh rigatoni when I decide to use my frozen bolognese. It tastes a lot better this way. You might have to add a bit of water when reheating the sauce. You can keep the bolognese in the refrigerator for 2-3 months.
More delicious pasta recipes
There are lots of different ways to combine pasta with fresh and healthy ingredients. Here are some of my favorite recipes that I totally recommend trying out:
- Zucchini Noodles with Garlic Shrimp
- Spicy Shrimp Pasta
- Pesto Zoodles with Asparagus and Salmon
- Pesto Spaghetti Salad
- 1 lb ground beef
- 8.5 oz rigatoni
- 1 carrot finely diced
- 1 celery stalk finely diced
- 1 onion finely diced
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine alternatively: white wine or beef bone broth
- 1 ¼ cup tomato passata
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 tsp olive oil extra virgin
- salt and pepper to taste
- optional: grated parmesan and fresh basil
- Preheat a large pan or pot with olive oil over medium heat.
- Chop the carrot, celery and onion. Mince the garlic.
- Add the carrot, celery, onion and garlic to the pan and sauté until the vegetables start to soften. Then, add the ground beef, add salt and pepper and sauté everything until the beef has browned. Add the tomato paste and sauté for a few more minutes.
- Now, add the red wine and tomato passata and heat the sauce up until it starts to simmer. Add the bay leaf, cover the pot or pan and let the bolognese simmer for 15 minutes.
- Cook the rigatoni according to package instruction while the bolognese simmers.
- After letting the bolognese simmer, check if you need to add more liquid. You might want to add a bit of water if the sauce is too thick. Add the rigatoni to the bolognese, mix everything, add more salt and pepper if needed and serve with fresh basil and grated parmesan (optional). Enjoy!
- If you don't want to use any wine, go for beef bone broth instead! It will taste very delicious.
- If you want to make a spicy version of this dish, add paprika powder or red pepper flakes. You could also use red pepper paste instead of tomato paste to give this dish more flavor and a bit of spice.
- Save some of the bolognese before adding the rigatoni if you want to freeze a few extra servings for meal prep.