Comfort food: one pot bolognese recipe

Margo Miller, Contributing Writer

I may not know how to spell it, but I sure know how to eat it. Bolognese is my absolute favorite comfort food. It is my go-to on a snowy, winter day. It is the food I turn to when I need a hearty meal and a happy stomach. This is my soul-food. In fact, one time during high school, I said out loud during English class, “Huh, that’s weird. I just got a whiff of bolognese.”

Understandably, no one really cared, nor responded — it was a pretty mundane observation. However, when I arrived home, I was shocked and pleased to find the pot bubbling away on the stove. My nose had sensed some much-needed sustenance from miles away. 

It’s easy and quick to prepare, but it cooks for a long time — three hours on low heat. But the long-term gratification is well worth the wait. I encourage you to give it a try when you’re chilled to the bone on a November weekend.

This recipe makes enough for four people, so I would cut it in half for one person.


3 Tbsp unsalted butter

2 Tbsp minced onion

2 Tbsp minced celery

2 Tbsp minced carrot

3/4 pound ground beef (or, optionally, 1/2 lb beef + 1/4 lb pork)

A pinch of salt

1 cup whole milk

1 cup dry white wine

1 28oz can whole tomatoes packed in juice, chopped fine, with juice reserved


In a large pot or dutch oven, melt butter on medium heat. Add onion, celery and carrot. Sauté until softened but not brown, around six minutes.

Add ground beef and 1/2 teaspoon salt, using a wooden spoon to break up the meat into small pieces, stirring frequently, until the meat loses its pink color but has not yet browned.

Add milk and reduce to a simmer until milk evaporates and only clear fat remains, about 10 to 15 minutes.

Add white wine and continue simmering until wine evaporates, about 10-15 minutes more.

Add tomatoes and juice, continuing on low heat, so that the sauce occasionally bubbles once or twice at the surface.

Switch into the slow cooker and simmer for 3 hours until most of the liquid has evaporated.

Enjoy over al dente pasta and with a sprinkle of parmesan and pepper.

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