Tagliatelle Bolognese Sauce with Cream

Just the right amount of 18% table cream creates the best Bolognese sauce that clings beautifully fresh tagliatelle. Ground beef, pork and diced pancetta flavor tomato sauce for a super meaty tagliatelle Bolognese. Fill your bowl, grab a fork, and spoon and get ready to twirl away!

Tagliatelle Bolognese with cream is the ultimate comfort food recipe.

If you’ve been around for a bit, you know I’ve been loving making tagliatelle recipes.  And by far, one of the most classic pairings for tagliatelle is…drumroll, please….an authentic bolognese sauce that doesn’t have cream or milk. That being said, I have come to appreciate the benefit from adding cream to my original Bolognese sauce recipe and how it helps the sauce cling to tagliatelle even more.

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Why tagliatelle and bolognese go hand in hand

white tray of nests of tagliatelle ready for Bolognese.
You can usually find tagliatelle in “nests” at your grocery store.

Tagliatelle is considered a fresh pasta typically made from homemade pasta dough that contains eggs. Eggs add color, flavor, and most importantly, elasticity and richness to pasta . It is the latter two qualities that make fresh tagliatelle perfect for Bolognese.

The pasta dough is folded into rectangles and cut wider than fettuccine. The resulting strands of tagliatelle are long, delicate and silky ready to hug the beef and pork mince flavoring the creamy sauce.

Dried pasta labeled tagliatelle is technically not tagliatelle because it won’t contain eggs. It’s just dried wheat flour and water pasta cut like tagliatelle.

So interesting!

Tagliatelle Substitute

Can’t find fresh tagliatelle pasta near you or don’t have time to make your own? Of course you can substitute your favorite pasta!

Ingredient rundown

Tagliatelle bolognese has two key components: tagliatelle pasta and bolognese sauce with cream. While we won’t be sharing how to make tagliatelle here (coming soon), by the end of this you’ll know exactly how to make the meaty, creamy tomato sauce.

Ingredients for tagliatelle bolognese include beef,pork, pancetta, tomatoes, onion, garlic, cream, herbs and wine
While this looks like tagliatelle Bolognese has a lot of ingredients, it’s all worth it!

Below you’ll find an overview of what you’ll need. Consult the recipe card at the end for a detailed ingredients list.

  • Type of meat Ground beef, pork and diced pancetta form the meat blend base for the sauce.
  • 18% cream/table cream. Sometimes referred to as light cream (not to be confused with lite cream as in calories). Search locally for availability near you in your grocer.
  • Tomatoes. San Marzano tomatoes with their low acidity and sweetness are the best choice for this recipe. You’ll also use a can of tomato paste for really intense tomato flavor.
  • White wine. Adds acidity and a tangy flavor that is hard to replicate. Can be omitted if you choose.

Other recipes like this you’ll ♥️: Bolognese meatballs, chicken bolognese sauce (white bolognese), and lemon tagliatelle. All so good!

Pro tips for the best bolognese tagliatelle

  1. Pasta water is a pasta sauce’s best friend. Reserve about 1 cup of pasta water from cooking the pasta. Pasta water helps the sauce marry with the pasta and creates an even silkier texture with the cream and tomatoes.
  2. Add the pasta to the sauce instead of the other way around. Add pasta to the sauce pan and toss to coat the pasta with sauce. This way the pasta soaks up all of that Bolognese sauce flavor.
  3. Don’t rush the sauce. Simmering for at least 2-3 hours produces the best flavor.

Step by step: Bolognese tagliatelle

What Bolognese lacks in equipment needed it makes up in time needed. This isn’t a quick pasta sauce recipe but one meant to simmer on the stove for a few hours. It’s like pizza dough —the more it sits, the better it gets.

Gather a large stockpot (yup —it’s a one pot pasta sauce recipe) and let’s get started.

Saute the veggies and brown the meat

1. Saute minced carrots, celery and onion over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or heavy stockpot.
2. Add the tomato paste and caramelize with the vegetables. Add the ground beef and pork to the pan with the vegetables and cook until brown.

Deglaze with wine

Deglazing browned meat with wine for bolognese
3. Pour in white wine and cook off until the wine is absorbed by the meat and vegetables.
4. Pour in the tomatoes and season.

Add the cream and seasoning to simmer

5. Finish with the cream and simmer for 3 hours until reduced.
Close up of tagliatelle bolognese with parmesan cheese on a black bowl.
6. Toss cooked tagliatelle with pasta water and Bolognese sauce until creamy and all the pasta is coated with the sauce.

Storage, reheating and freezing tips

Storage. Refrigerate any leftovers in a resealable container or bag for up to 3 days.

Reheating. Heat leftovers in a small saucepan over low heat, stirring occasionally, until warmed through. Add water or a little butter as needed to loosen the sauce and get things going.

Freeze. Bolognese sauce is best frozen (separate from pasta) without the cream in a freezer-safe container or bag for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge overnight, place in a large saucepan and heat. Add cream and allow to simmer for about 30 minutes.

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Tagliatelle Bolognese Sauce with Cream

Just the right amount of 18% table cream creates a rich Bolognese sauce that clings in beautifully to long pastas like tagliatelle. Beef, pork and pancetta come together to make an extra tagliatelle Bolognese. Fill your bowl, grab a fork, and spoon and get ready to twirl away.
Prep Time:10 minutes
Cook Time:3 hours
Total Time:3 hours 10 minutes



  • Heat a large wide dutch oven over medium heat. Add the olive oil and stir in the diced pancetta. Saute in the olive oil until browned but not charred. (That will affect the flavor of the sauce.)
    4 T olive oil, 3 oz pancetta I use the diced pancetta from Trader Joe’s
  • Use a slotted spoon to remove the pancetta to a paper-towel lined plate to drain. Set aside.
  • Add a little more oil to the pan if it looks too dry. Add the carrots, celery and onion to the pan. Saute the soffritto until cooked and softened a bit for 5-10 min.
    2 carrots finely diced, 2 celery finely diced, 1 onion finely chopped
  • Add the ground meat and the ground pork to the vegetables.
    2 lbs ground beef I use 80%, 1 lb ground pork
  • Season with the salt and pepper.
    2 teaspoons kosher salt, 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • Using the edge of a wooden spoon, finely mince the meats. Brown (but don’t let it get too dark), over medium high heat until cooked about 8 minutes.
  • Pour in 1 c wine and the nutmeg and cook until the wine evaporates and the meat is almost dry in the pan. This might take 5 minutes or so.
    1 cup white wine it has to evaporate completely; you can use red if you prefer
  • After it does, stir in the tomato paste and melt into the meat. Stir in the tomato sauce, chicken stock and cream.. Allow to come together and then stir in the cooked pancetta.
    1 ½ cup chicken broth, 3 oz can of tomato paste, 28 oz can whole peeled Italian tomatoes, 1 cup table cream/light cream, ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • Reduce the heat to the lowest of simmers. The sauce should barely bubble (but it should bubble.)
  • Simmer the bolognese for 3 hours (min of 2)
  • Add pasta water and a pat of butter at the end.
Course: Main Course, Pasta
Cuisine: Italian
Author: Lori Murphy
Did you make this recipe? Tag @josieandnina or tag #josieandnina!

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