Open Arms of Minnesota

Weekly Recipe #199: Bolognese

by Brooke Steigauf, Dietetic Intern [University of Minnesota Medical Center – Fairview]

Photo credit: Pauleon Tan/Flickr

There are two types of winter in Minnesota. One is the first snow fall. White flakes dust the ground and children with red rosy cheeks play with delight. The holidays are near and everyone is filled with excitement and cheer.

Then there is winter part two. The sun sets in mid-afternoon, bare trees howl in the wind and it is so cold, even the snow is frozen.

Whether you love or loath either winter, both are a marvelous time to make meals like this hearty bolognese. Not too sweet and with just a hint of spice, it is so savory, you will wish for winter all year long.
Though it seems rich, this recipe is packed with good things. Tomatoes are an excellent source of vitamin C and antioxidants that fight infections. They are also a great source of potassium that helps keep our muscles moving and heart beating. Red meat is an excellent source of protein and iron. Protein helps build, support and restore muscles and the immune system, while iron carries oxygen helping you feel energized.

This sauce can be served with whole grain bread or pasta for fiber and extra protein. Bread and pasta were not included in the directions or nutrition information.


Adapted from a recipe by Ina Garten

(Serves: about 6)


  • 2 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. lean ground sirloin (90% lean)
  • 1 tbsp. minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp. dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/4 cups dry red wine
  • 1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. tomato paste, no salt added
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1 1/2 tsp. black pepper
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese


  1. Heat olive oil in a large (12-inch) skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add in ground sirloin and cook, crumbling the meat with a wooden spoon, for 5 to 7 minutes, until the meat has started to brown.
  3. Stir in the garlic, oregano, and red pepper flakes and cook for 1 more minute.
  4. Pour 1 cup of the wine into the skillet and stir to scrape up any browned bits.
  5. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, salt, and pepper, stirring until combined.
  6. Bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  7. Add the basil, parsley, cream, and the remaining 1/4 cup wine to the sauce and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened.
  8. Top with cheese and serve over cooked whole grain pasta or bread.

Nutritional Information:

Per serving: 378.7 calories, 20.12 g total fat (7.9 g saturated fat), 67.2 mg cholesterol, 1260.7 mg sodium, 14.8 g carbohydrate, 7.2 g sugar, 3 g fiber, 26.9 g protein

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