Ground Bison Bolognese

Even though the temperatures aren’t as cool as I would like for them to be, my mind is definitely in Fall-mode and all of the recipes I’m preparing are a perfect representation of the new season.

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Pumpkin-spiced candles, cinnamon-scented hand soaps, mums and pumpkins on my doorstep… these are a few of my favorite things! I love this time of the year SO MUCH. There’s just something so comforting and lovely about Fall and I think a lot of it has to do with all of the childhood memories my mind becomes flooded with. Growing up, I remember us kids coming home from school and watching our favorite Halloween movies, decorating pumpkins, helping my mom cook all sorts of delicious soup and stews, and just living in the moment. Why can’t things feel so easy again? Oh, I know why…. COVID and politics and other stressors in life.

No matter what nonsense or BS we have to deal with, life is what we make of it. Sometimes we simply cannot control everything and that’s OK. I have to remind myself this often because I’m probably classified as an OCD control freak. I just like to always have full control of my surroundings and I remember always being this way. However, as I’ve gotten older, I’ve gotten better about reminding myself to slow down, take a deep breath and just accept things (and people) for the way they are. I think cooking is so fun for me because I’m controlling the meal- making it exactly how I want it to be. 🙂

This recipe has so much flavor because the sauce it’s cooked low and slow for a couple of hours. It’s pretty much just like making a homemade, spaghetti sauce only a bit more time consuming. I really like using bison because it’s so lean and pairs nicely with the fatty pancetta in the dish, but ground beef works just fine too! I recommend pairing bolognese with a medium-bodied red wine such as a Merlot or Chianti.

This recipe is on my Damn.Delicious.ATX menu so if you live in the Austin area and don’t feel like cooking it yourself, order a batch of this amazing ground bison bolognese today!

Bison Bolognese

Low and slow on the stove is all it takes for a rich and flavorful bolognese!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 2 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people


  • Large Pot
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Cutting Board
  • Chef Knife


  • 1 lb Ground Bison
  • 1 medium Yellow Onion chopped
  • 1 Carrot chopped
  • 1 Celery Stalk chopped
  • 3 cloves Garlic minced
  • 4 oz Pancetta or Bacon chopped
  • 1 cup Dry White Wine
  • 1/3 cup Tomato Paste
  • 1 15 oz can Imporated Italian Plum Tomatoes with their juice
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • Pinch of Nutmeg
  • 2 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 cup Whole Milk
  • 1 lb Rigatoni or Pappardelle
  • 3 Tbsp Olive Oil
  • Kosher Salt & Fresh Pepper to taste
  • Freshly Grated Parmesan Cheese lots!!


  • In a large pot, heat 2 Tbsp olive oil. Add pancetta or bacon and cook over medium heat until fat is rendered and pancetta/bacon is crispy.
  • Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel-lined plate.
  • Add ground bison along with a pinch of salt & pepper. Cook until browned.
  • Add the chopped onion, carrot and celery to the ground bison; cook until tender, about 8 minutes.
    *Sometimes I like to puree the veggies in a food processor before cooking – makes for a smoother sauce.*
  • Next, add the wine to the pot and allow to reduce, about 4-6 minutes.
  • Then, add the tomato paste. Caramlize the tomato paste for about 2 minutes.
  • Return the pancetta/bacon back to the pot. Add the nutmeg, bay leaf and another pinch of salt & pepper. Give everything a big stir to make sure all spices are incorporated.
  • Add the stock and allow the bolognese to reach a strong simmer. Then, reduce the heat to lowest setting and allow to cook for 1 hour uncovered. Be sure to stir occasionally.
  • Add the milk and allow to continue cooking for an additional hour.
  • When the sauce is finished cooking, it should resemble a sloppy joe mixture.
  • Season the bolognese with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cook the noodles according to package directions. Using a slotted noodle spoon or tongs, transfer the cooked pasta directly in the bolognese. *If the sauce is too thick and tight, add 1/2 cup pasta cooking liquid.*
  • Garnish the bolognese with freshly grated Parmesan and parsley.
  • Bon Appetit!

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