Mom’s Garden Tomato Bolognese Recipe

Mom’s Garden Tomato Bolognese Recipe

Visiting my parents’ house whenever there is a meal involved always gets me excited. Today’s recipe for my Mom’s Garden Tomato Bolognese is just an example of their delicious cooking skills.  

My parents’ share an almost equal level of excitement around their passion for food and cooking as I do. So it goes without saying that there is rarely a bad or boring meal that it is put on the table. Not only do I get to take advantage of a tasty dish but I also get to just sit back, relax and enjoy the meal. It’s definitely a win-win for me! During one of my most recent visits my parents had come up with a recipe to use up the overflowing garden vegetables from the backyard. It was one of the best homemade meals I had in a while. I have had a lack of recipe inspiration the past few weeks. So when I couldn’t stop craving this dish for a whole week after devouring it, I decided to replicate and post about it in my parent’s honor.

This recipe is going to come to you in two pieces. So if you want the final product (Crispy Eggplant, Polenta and Caprese Stacks with Mom’s Garden Tomato Bolognese) you’ll have to come back next week!

First up is Mom’s Garden Tomato Bolognese Sauce. Now, there is a small caveat to this recipe. It’s one of those non-recipe, recipes. What I mean by this is when I called my Mom to get all of her ingredient measurements and steps it was more of a “Well it was a little of this and a little of that”.  So while my representation of the sauce is definitely similar (and delicious!) each batch will be a little different. I attempted to keep track of what I used to make this spectacular summer sauce. So now I can share with all of you here.

Feel free to throw in whatever vegetables and herbs you have to make it your own. Believe me it will still turn out great.

This recipe is a fantastic way to use those extra ripe garden tomatoes as they reach the end of their season. Serve it over pasta or come back next week for the part two of this Italian garden vegetable series.  


…all for the love of the dish


Mom’s Garden Tomato Bolognese Recipe

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

Total Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes

Yield: 6-8 Servings


  • 6-7 large tomatoes- diced
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 zucchini- diced
  • 4 oz sliced mushrooms
  • 2 onions- diced
  • 1 carrot-chopped
  • 1 celery stick-chopped
  • ½ cup wine
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 cup fresh basil
  • 1 tbsp Italian seasoning (or fresh chopped oregano and parsley)
  • Salt and pepper as needed


  1. In a large stock pot, heat the oil over medium. Add the minced garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add 1 diced onion and all of the celery, carrot, zucchini, mushrooms along with ¼ cup basil. Turn the heat down to low, cover and let the vegetables cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomatoes, wine, Italian seasoning (or fresh herbs) and ½ cup of basil. Cover again and cook for at least an hour (I did 90 minutes).
  2. Meanwhile, heat an additional tsp olive oil in a frying pan. Add the seond diced onion and let soften for about 3-5 minutes. Add the ground beef. Cook until the meat just slightly has some pink left.
  3. Using an immersion blender or taking shifts in the food processor add the tomato and vegetable mixture. Blend until completely smooth. Put back in the stockpot and add the ground beef mixture.
  4. Cook over a low slow heat for another hour so the meat flavors blend into the fresh tomato sauce. Add salt and pepper as needed.
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