If you’ve never heard of orecchiette bolognese I’m here to tell you this is one of the most comforting, delicious and hearty dishes! This kind of pasta bolognese is so simple, easy and convenient to make when you’re craving comfort food!
We love, love, love eating pasta for dinner! And one of my family’s favorite pasta is orecchiette bolognese. In addition to being simple and quick to make, the delicious bolognese sauce is also packed with flavor. On top of tomatoes and a blend of Italian seasoning, my Bolognese sauce is enhanced by a combination of spicy Italian sausage and ground beef. All those flavors come together on top of a fun shell-shaped pasta your family is sure to love!
Other pasta recipes you’ll love:
- Farfalle pasta with beef
- Tomato chickpea pasta
- Creamy baked pasta
- Cheesy baked tortellini with vegetables
- Garlicky veggie loaded spaghetti sauce
What is orecchiette pasta?
Derived from the Italian word for ear, this small pasta is from the southern region of Italy. It gets its name from the pasta’s shape, which resembles a small ear.
Is Bolognese Spaghetti Sauce?
The short answer to this question is yes. But if you ask the reverse – is spaghetti sauce Bolognese sauce, you may get a different response. Traditionally, spaghetti sauce is simply any sauce you put on spaghetti. So, while that could mean Bolognese sauce, it could also describe marinara sauce, too.
Bolognese sauce can be used on spaghetti, but it also tastes amazing with other types of pasta. You could use it with or orecchiette pasta, like I use in this recipe, or other types of plain pasta, like rotini or penne. You could also use it in stuffed pasta dishes, like manicotti or lasagna. Or skip the pasta and make your own low carb dish by adding this meaty sauce to your favorite zoodles or roasted spaghetti squash.
How to Thicken Your Sauce
Bolognese sauce can be eaten thick or runny. If you prefer to have a thinner, runnier sauce, top the pan with a lid and add a few extra tomatoes to the recipe. But if you would rather have a thick Bolognese sauce on top of your pasta, cooking your sauce uncovered for an extended period of time will help thicken it. The longer you cook your sauce, more moisture will escape and the thicker the sauce will get.
How to Store Bolognese Sauce
The best part about this recipe is that the sauce can be made ahead and stored for enjoying later. If you plan on eating the sauce within the next few days, simply pour it into an airtight container and store it in the fridge. Or, if you double the sauce recipe and want to store the additional sauce long-term, pour it into a container with a sealable lid or in a freezer bag. Then, place the sauce in the freezer until you’re ready to eat it. To reheat the sauce, simply warm it in a sauce pan over low heat. Allow your frozen sauce to thaw before reheating.
Orecchiette alla bolognese
1. In a large pan, brown the Italian sausage and ground beef with the olive oil and onion. When the meat has browned add the garlic and saute.
2. Season with red pepper flakes, salt, parsley, and basil. Stir to combine.
3. Add the tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir to combine.
4. Cover and cook over low heat for at least 30 minutes.
5. Serve the sauce over cooked orecchiette pasta.
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Print the recipe
- 1 16- ounce package orecchiette pasta cooked
- ½ pound spicy Italian sausage
- ½ pound ground beef
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 small onion diced
- 4 cloves garlic minced
- ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ cup fresh parsley chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil chopped
- 1 28- ounce can crushed tomatoes
- 1 8- ounce can tomato sauce
- In a large pan, brown the Italian sausage and ground beef with the olive oil and onion. When the meat has browned add the garlic and saute.
- Season with red pepper flakes, salt, parsley, and basil. Stir to combine.
- Add the crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce. Stir to combine.
- Cover and cook over low heat for at least 30 minutes.
- Serve the sauce over cooked orecchiette pasta.