Stanley Tucci & 20 Minute Bolognese

Stanley Tucci’s 20-Minute Bolognese Will Become a Weeknight Dinner Staple in Your House

Yes, really, a homemade bolognese sauce in 20 minutes!

Stanley Tucci’s 20-Minute Bolognese Will Become a Weeknight Dinner Staple in Your House
Yes, really, a homemade bolognese sauce in 20 minutes!

We know that Stanley Tucci is very particular about his sauces—especially the meat-filled ones that normally take hours to make. After seeing him make his ragù, I figured the actor was used to standing over the stove simmering his sauce for as long as it takes to get the perfect, rich pasta topper.

However, we’ve also learned that Tucci is a simple man, enjoying peanut butter sandwiches and other five-ingredient recipes. That’s why when I heard him say the words “quick bolognese” in a recent Instagram video, I knew the recipe was bound to be an easy one.

A black and white portrait of Stanley Tucci sitting in an empty restaurant dining room.

In the video, Tucci explains how he made the quick dish—joking that the method is “so boring.”

“It’s kind of different, I’ve never made it this way. But, anyway, if you’re not asleep, just let me know,” he jokes.

I certainly wasn’t asleep, in fact, I was taking notes on how to make the bolognese because I rarely make the sauce from scratch since it takes so long. Tucci’s method only took me 20 minutes—no joke. Here’s how to make it.


How to Make Stanley Tucci’s Quick Bolognese

In typical Tucci fashion, he doesn’t actually give any measurements, just ingredients. So I eyeballed everything for one pound of ground beef.

For Tucci’s bolognese, you’ll need onion, celery, carrot, meat (the fattier, the better, according to Tucci), jarred tomatoes (Tucci uses tomatoes in water), chicken stock, and nutmeg. Basically, you just cook everything down to a reduced meat sauce.

So, sauté your onion, celery, and carrot—I chopped those up in my food processor to make them super fine and to trick myself into adding more veggies to the sauce—in butter and olive oil until soft. Then add the meat and cook until brown. Finally, add the tomatoes—I don’t have the same access to farmer’s market ingredients as Tucci, so I just used whole San Marzano tomatoes whizzed up in the food processor because that felt Tucc-approved. Also add in the chicken stock, nutmeg, salt, and pepper here. Simmer for a few minutes until all the flavors have melded, and voilá, it’s already time to eat.


Tucci’s quick bolognese is really similar to Emily Blunt’s bolognese that she shared on Ina Garten’s “Be My Guest,” which makes sense considering that she’s his sister-in-law. But who borrowed the method from whom, I wonder?

As someone who normally likes a pretty saucy sauce, I was surprised at how much I enjoyed the bolognese because it was essentially just a bowl of meat and noodles. Though I will admit, upon eating the leftovers, I do add a splash of Rao’s pasta sauce to the mix.

I was trying to keep to Tucci’s original method, so I didn’t use the entire can of San Marzano tomatoes—and I didn’t add any of the tomato juice the tomatoes were sitting in—because his was not very tomato-heavy. But next time, I’d add the entire jar to give it a little more sauce.

There you have it, another Tucci recipe that I will be adding to my everyday collection—and, Stanley, next time you think a recipe is too “boring” to post, please do it anyway because these easy methods make my weeknight meals a breeze!