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Kid-Friendly Penne Bolognese

This recipe combines both beef and pork with penne pasta to make a winter warmer of a dish, which will appeal to everyone, young and old alike. In addition to the meat and pasta, you will find vegetables, oregano and garlic in this dish, along with tomatoes and beef bouillon. The penne Bolognese is served with parmesan and basil leaves as an attractive garnish, and every bite boasts wonderful Italian flavor.

Cooked from Fresh is Always Best

Although there might be easier ways to make a Bolognese dish, namely popping open a jar of readymade Bolognese sauce, our aim with this recipe is to show you how easy it can be to create the Bolognese sauce from scratch. It is mainly a case of stirring the ingredients together and allowing the sauce to simmer for an hour while the flavors combine. If you want, you can prepare everything ahead, and spoon the pasta and sauce into a baking dish. Add some cheese on top and refrigerate until required, then you can just bake it for 30 minutes at 375 degrees F, or until the dish is piping hot.

Bolognese sauce often pairs with spaghetti but if you want the flavor of the sauce but you prefer pasta to long ribbons of spaghetti, go ahead and try this recipe, because it works really well. Use another pasta shape if you prefer, like rigatoni, pasta spirals or macaroni. You can stick with only beef or only pork if you do not want to use both meats, and even sneak in some finely chopped carrots.

Beef and Pork Bolognese Sauce for Pasta
Summary: This unusual recipe for Bolognese features penne rather than spaghetti, and a sauce made with beef and pork, juicy tomatoes, garlic, oregano, and more, for a well-rounded flavor.
Cuisine: Italian
Recipe type: Pasta
Serves: 4
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
  • 14 oz lean ground beef
  • 8 oz ground pork
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ½ cup beef bouillon
  • 2 x 14 oz cans chopped peeled tomatoes
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • ½ teaspoon white sugar
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 sliced button mushrooms
  • 14 oz penne pasta
  • 1 finely chopped yellow onion
  • Grated parmesan cheese, to serve
  • Basil leaves, for garnish (optional)
  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over a medium heat.
  2. Add the onion and garlic.
  3. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, or until tender.
  4. Turn the heat up to high and add the ground beef and pork.
  5. Cook for 5 minutes or until browned, breaking up the chunks with a wooden spoon.
  6. Stir in the tomato paste.
  7. Cook for 1 minute.
  8. Stir in the tomatoes with their juice, mushroom slices, oregano, sugar, and bouillon.
  9. Turn the heat down to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil.
  10. Cook for 5 minutes without a lid.
  11. Turn the heat down to low and simmer for an hour with a lid.
  12. Bring the mixture to a boil, then cook for 10 minutes without a lid, or until the sauce is thick.
  13. Cook the pasta, following the directions on the package, then drain it.
  14. Spoon the pasta into bowls and spoon the sauce on top.
  15. Finish off with some parmesan cheese, and offer more on the side.
  16. Garnish with basil leaves, if liked.

Photo Description:

Kids love the flavor of Bolognese sauce, but serve it over spaghetti and younger kids will have problems twirling it on the fork. Swap the spaghetti for penne pasta and you have solved that problem. This dish features meat, tomatoes, cheese and more, and you will agree it looks really delicious. Put it in a baking dish, top it with cheese and broil or bake it if you like, or simply spoon the pasta on to the plates and ladle the sauce on top. Since the sauce is made by combining the ingredients and letting them simmer together, you will find this a very easy pasta dish to make.


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Christine Szalay-Kudra

Hi I'm Christine, and I am happy you are visiting. Food is a large part of our family's lives, and we love to try new dishes, especially Italian food which offers so much freshness and flavor, whether you are making a classic Italian dish like lasagna or pizza, or experimenting with new appetizers, entrées or desserts from Italy.

Even if you are brand new to this cuisine, you will be able to find all kinds of tempting recipes here. I have been collecting classic Italian recipes, all conveniently in one place, along with unusual recipes from Italy plus some dishes inspired by Italian cuisine.

When the weather is cold, a baked pasta dish or juicy pork or veal recipe might be ideal. During the summer months, an Italian salad might be your dish of choice. We have vegetarian recipes, Italian soups, and even tips on how to work with Italian ingredients for the best results, whether you are making lasagna, gnocchi or an Italian casserole


Thanks for visiting.


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