burst cherry tomato bolognese

Burst Cherry Tomato Bolognese

Last Updated on August 13, 2021

Summer’s nickname should be “tomato time.” Celebrate the warm weather months with this easy-to-make, one-pot Bolognese showcasing cherry tomatoes, which add seasonal sensibility and sunny sweetness to the classic sauce. 

summer tomato bolognese and pasta

Burst Cherry Tomato Bolognese

4.07 from 31 votes
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Protein: Beef
Cut: Ground Beef
Course: Main Course
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup finely diced yellow onions
  • 1 cup finely diced carrots
  • 1 cup finely diced celery
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 pounds ground beef
  • Fine sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes optional
  • 5 cups cherry tomatoes
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 pound rigatoni pappardelle, tagliatelle, or fettucine
  • Parmesan cheese


  • Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onions, carrots, and celery, and sauté until they are tender, about 8-10 minutes.
  • Add the tomato paste and stir until browned, about 3-4 minutes. Add the beef, about 1 ½ teaspoon salt, about ½ teaspoon black pepper, and red pepper flakes, if using. Cook until the beef has browned, about 15 minutes, breaking up the beef as you stir it.
  • Turn the heat down to medium-low, add the tomatoes, and continue cooking. When the tomatoes get tender, use a wooden spoon to smash about two-thirds of them. Cook until the tomatoes are fully integrated with the beef and the sauce has thickened, about 30 minutes. Stir in the heavy cream and remove the saucepan from the heat.
  • While the sauce is simmering, cook the pasta according to package directions.
  • Serve the Bolognese over pasta and top with freshly grated parmesan cheese.
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Nevin Martell is a D.C.-area based food and travel writer, parenting essayist, recipe developer, and photographer whose work has appeared in The Washington PostNational Geographic, FortuneTravel + Leisure, and many other publications. His eight books include Red Truck Bakery Cookbook: Gold-Standard Recipes from America's Favorite Rural Bakery and The Founding Farmers Cookbook: 100 Recipes for True Food & DrinkIt’s So Good: 100 Real Food Recipes for KidsFind him on Instagram @nevinmartell, on Twitter @nevinmartell, and online at nevinmartell.com.