Daniella’s Kitchen Sink Pasta Sauce

This easy and flavorful Bolognese sauce started as a traditional family recipe passed to my wife by a friend who was born in San Marino, Italy. When my wife first moved from Ohio to Chicago, her friend would host a “family dinner” once a week for all of their friends. The weekly dinner frequently hosted new guests, some living hundreds of miles from their biological families. A few years and a hundred dinners later, my wife asked if she could have the recipe for the savory sauce. Her friend struggled to record the ingredients and portions because, as it turned out, she had concocted the weekly sauce entirely from scratch and had made changes to the ingredient list frequently based on surpluses of herbs and vegetables found in her refrigerator. As my wife and I began to make the sauce for our family, we also changed the recipe by adding some of our own personal touches. As you use this recipe, I hope that you will also take the opportunity to make changes that make this sauce your own.


  • Preparation Time: 00:30
  • Cook Time: 01:00
  • Cuisine: Italian
  • Servings: 10


  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium yellow onions, chopped
  • 6 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 1 cup of frozen peas
  • 1 pound of lean ground chuck
  • 1 pound of ground spicy Italian sausage
  • 3 (16 oz) cans of whole San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 (8 oz) cans of tomato paste
  • 1/2 bunch of flat-leaf parsley
  • 10-14 fresh basil leaves
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup fresh grated Pecorino cheese
  • Pasta Ingredients: Fresh Pappardelle’s noodles (or other noodles) and Fresh grated Parmesan cheese


  • 1Coarsely chop the onions, garlic, celery, red bell pepper, carrots, parsley and basil.
  • 2Heat the oil in a large pot or skillet. Add the onions and garlic, and sauté until translucent.
  • 3Add the ground chuck and the spicy Italian sausage, and cook until just browned (do not overcook).
  • 4Pour the San Marzano tomatoes into a large crock pot (5 or 6 qt). Using a wooden spoon, lightly crush the tomatoes.
  • 5Next, add the browned meat, onions and garlic, followed by the rest of the ingredients (celery, red bell pepper, carrots, parsley, basil, tomato paste).
  • 6Add the cheese, and season with salt and pepper. Set the crock pot to low for 8 hours.
  • 7When the sauce is finished (8 hours), add the frozen peas.
  • 8Finally, pour the sauce over fresh al dente Pappardelle’s noodles, top with fresh grated Parmesan cheese and serve.
  • 9Save additional sauce in the freezer to be used in other dishes.
  • 10Use a blender or food processor to blend a finer-textured sauce, if desired.