We all looooove a classic Italian bolognese sauce; it makes one of the heartiest, most flavorful pasta dishes on earth, and is surprisingly easy to whip up for a balanced, protein-rich dinner. When I asked Nick to concoct his very own version of bolognese for the blog, you know he had to put his spin on a remix with the Latin flavors he grew up with!

After a few nights of (delicious) experimentation, he came up with this sweet and spicy bolognese recipe that I am now absolutely addicted to: it’s rich, satisfying, and full of flavor thanks to the poblano peppers he used in his base. Poblanos are probably his favorite type of pepper, and best believe he sneaks them into a dish whenever he can.

And, even though you’re essentially making your sauce from scratch with tomato paste, broth, and all of his favorite seasonings — you’ll be amazed at how quickly the flavors come together. This is actually one of our go-to dishes when we’re short on time but really want to wow our guests with something nourishing, flavor-packed and comforting! They’ll think you were working on the sauce all day 😉

Nick's Spicy Spanish Bolognese Sauce

15 min
35 min
50 min

Ingredients (for the sauce)

  • 2 tbsp + 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 3 x 7oz jars of tomato paste
  • 24oz chicken broth or water
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/2-1 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2-1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 2 tsp oregano
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1-2 tsp salt
  • 2 medium poblano peppers
  • 2 medium onions
  • 1 full head of garlic

Ingredients (for the meat)

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp brown sugar


  1. Put 1 sauce pot and 1 large pan on the stove. Add 1 tsp olive oil to the pot and 2 tbsp olive oil to the pan.
  2. Gently heat the oil in the sauce pot and add your dry seasonings. Stir them and cook on low heat for 3-5 minutes until fragrant, taking care not to burn them. Turn off heat and set aside.
  3. Coarsely chop the garlic into large chunks. Dice the onion. De-seed and chop the poblanos into rings so that they’re easy to remove from the sauce later.
  4. Heat the olive oil in the large pan on medium heat and add the chopped garlic, onion, and poblanos. Sauté for 15 minutes, until they start to wilt. Once wilted, turn the heat up to high and stir constantly to ensure there’s no burning. Once the bottom of the pan starts to show caramelized bits of onion, remove from heat and transfer the sautéed veggies into the sauce pot.
  5. In that pan, add a splash of chicken stock to deglaze all those little bits of onion flavor. Let cook on medium heat for a minute as you scrape/stir with a wooden spoon. Add the deglazed broth to the sauce pot.
  6. Then add the (3) 7oz jars of tomato paste to the sauce pot along with the 24oz of chicken broth or water, 2 tbsp brown sugar, and 1/2 tbsp white wine vinegar. Let it cook and simmer on low-medium heat while you cook your ground beef in the pan.
  7. Add your ground beef to the pan and season with 1 tsp salt and 1 tsp brown sugar. Cook well until nice and brown.
  8. Once the beef is done browning, add the meat to your sauce pot, mix, and allow the flavors to marry as you continue cooking it for 30 minutes on low.
  9. When the bolognese sauce is close to being done, bring salted water to a boil in a large pot for your pasta. Cook your pasta (al dente) and drain.
  10. Once the sauce is all finished, pick out the poblanos (or not if you want to leave them in!) and add the sauce to your drained pasta. Enjoy!

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