Homemade Bolognese

GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. – Chef Lisa O’Connell, creator of the popular Sauce Anna Lisa, stopped by the KARE11 Kitchen to serve up her all time favorite bolognese recipe. “This is hands down my favorite, my families favorite, basically anyone who has ever tried it favorite sauce for pasta,” she said. You can try it for yourself, the recipe follows.

Anna Lisa’s Authentic Italian Bolognese


1 lb. ground beef

½ lb. ground pork

2 carrots peeled and minced

2 celery stalks minced

2 cloves garlic minced

1 medium onion minced

1 Cup white or red wine

½ Cup cream or whole milk

Salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil and one knob of butter to coat pan

*One 24 oz. jar of Sauce Anna Lisa Pasta Sauce or another very robust, fresh, sauce.


Place a medium sized saucepan, over medium heat add a knob of butter and drizzle with a generous amount of olive oil.  Once the oil is hot add carrot, celery and onion and a pinch of salt, sauté about 2 minutes or until translucent.  Add minced garlic and sauté all ingredients together until fragrant.  Add pork and ground beef and sauté until lightly browned.  Add wine to de glaze pan and cook down until wine reduces- about 5 minutes.  Once wine is reduced add Sauce Anna Lisa pasta sauce, cover and let sauce heat until bubbling.  Add cream, stir and bring back to a simmer.   Salt and pepper to taste- if necessary.

The sauce can be served immediately or continue to slow cook as desired.    The longer you cook it the more reduced the sauce will become- addling another layer of flavor with the more time you give.

Serving suggestions:

Toss with rigatoni or mafalda pasta noodles (packaged noodles, prepared as directed)

Serve over a well-toasted chunk of your favorite crusty bread.  It’s a meal by itself.

Serve over Steamed/roasted Broccoli or Cauliflower- The meaty Bolognese is amazing with almost any vegetable.
Stuffed Shells

One box of large pasta shells

3-4 Cups mozzarella cheese (divided)

1 Cup ricotta cheese

½ Cup Parmesan cheese

1 egg

¼ Cup chopped fresh parsley

Bolognese sauce, prepared as previously directed

Prepare shells as directed.  Note: undercook slightly (by about 3 minutes) as the shells will continue to cook when baked.  Rinse with cold water to cool once cooked.  Strain and set aside.

Combine 2 cups of mozzarella, 1 cup ricotta, ½ cup parmesan, egg and parsley.  Stuff shells with mixture and place in a glass baking pan.  Top stuffed shells with Bolognese sauce and top with remaining mozzarella cheese.  Bake at 400 for about 15 minutes or until cheese on top is bubbly and melted.  Serve immediately.

This recipe can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to 3 days.  It can also be well covered and frozen for up to 3 months.  Note: if baking from frozen, cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes, removing foil for the last 10 minutes to brown top.

Bolognese sauce, prepared as directed

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