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Dutch oven with papardelle pasta tossed in slow cooked bolognese and green peas

Chicken Sausage Bolognese

  • Author: Nancy
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Total Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4-6 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Cook
  • Cuisine: Italian


Swapping beef for chicken sausage in this hearty and savory meat sauce and pasta dish.


  1. Between 3/4 and 1lb of chicken Italian sausage, depending on your preference
  2. 2 tbsp olive oil
  3. 4 slices applewood smoked bacon
  4. 1 large carrot, peeled
  5. 2 celery stalks
  6. 1 red onion
  7. 35 cloves fresh garlic, crushed
  8. 1/2 cup white wine
  9. 1/3 cup tomato paste
  10. 3 cups low sodium chicken stock, separated
  11. 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  12. 1 cup half-and-half
  13. 1 bay leaf (or 23 fresh sage leaves)
  14. 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  15. 1/2 cup grated or shredded parmesan
  16. 1 cup peas, optional
  17. 1 lb pappardelle, rigatoni, tagliatelle, or egg noodle


  1. In a Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add ground chicken sausage and break apart, cook until it’s just under golden brown and set aside.
  3. Dice bacon into small pieces and cook over medium heat for about 12 minutes, just under crispy.
  4. While the bacon cooks, pulse chop the carrot, onion, and celery in a food processor to make the Mirepoix. Once the bacon is cooked, add the Mirepoix to the pot and cook until soft, about 10-15 minutes.
  5. While the Mirepoix is sautéing, add the chicken sausage to the food processor and pulse until finely ground.
  6. Add chicken sausage to the pot and increase heat to medium-high. Add the white wine and crushed garlic and stir continually for 10 minutes.
  7. Stir in tomato paste and add 2 cups of the chicken stock along with crushed red pepper flakes.
  8. Reduce the heat to low and add half-and-half, bay leaf, and nutmeg.
  9. Let sauce simmer on low for 2 ½ to 3 hours, stirring often. If the sauce becomes too dense, add ¼ cup of broth at a time until it reaches the desired consistency which should be thick, creamy, but allow for the pasta to absorb some of the liquid.
  10. Boil 6 qts of salted water and cook pasta al dente, or for 2 minutes less than suggested cook time.
  11. Remove the bay leaf and add parmesan. If using peas, add them to the sauce now.
  12. Transfer the pasta to the pot with sauce and stir well.
  13. Serve immediately and top with a spoonful of parmesan.

Keywords: bolognese, pasta bolognese, italian bolognese, rigatoni, pappardelle, tagliatelle, meat sauce