This One Pot Harissa Pasta Bolognese is the coziest weeknight dinner with barely any cleanup! The pasta noodles cook directly in a sweet and fragrant harissa-spiked tomato sauce with ground beef and toasted spices. Dairy-free, pantry friendly and so delicious!
Here we go with another one pot pasta recipe! You guys went crazy for my One Pot French Onion Pasta, so we’re back at it again this equally delicious One Pot Harissa Pasta Bolognese.
This is a recipe that is perfect for cold winter nights and although I currently live in sunny Santa Barbara, I developed the recipe while I was home in Chicago for winter break. Temperatures dropped to around -8° F (!) so we were all craving something warm and hearty for dinner. A pot of saucy noodles and ground beef really checked all those comfort-food requirements. And despite being low-effort, the harissa and a splash of coconut cream at the end totally transforms it into a luxurious meal.
Oh and another note—I was hesitant to call this pasta dish “Bolognese” for fear the Italians would come for me, but harissa “meat sauce” just simply wasn’t as sexy. A traditional bolognese sauce is generally simmered for hours while this weeknight-friendly version is ready in just about 30 minutes! I know some people aren’t crazy about the idea of cooking pasta directly in it’s sauce, but I actually love how the starch acts as a natural thickener. Plus, it makes cleanup a breeze!
Ingredients in Harissa Pasta Bolognese
(Full ingredient measurements listed in recipe card at end of page)
- Ground beef – preferably 85% lean
- Onion, red bell pepper & garlic
- Harissa paste – I used this rose harissa paste
- Ground cumin, coriander and paprika
- Red wine
- Crushed tomatoes
- Beef stock
- Bucatini or spaghetti
- Full fat coconut milk or heavy cream – optional, but so tasty
Let’s Make One Pot Harissa Pasta Bolognese
To make this recipe, start by browning your ground beef in a little olive oil. I like to get the pan quite hot and allow the beef to sizzle, untouched for 4-5 minutes before breaking it up. This maximizes browning and more browning = more flavor.
Once the meat is pretty much cooked through, add in your onion, garlic, spices and harissa paste. Let those toast and release their flavor before deglazing the pan with a little red wine. Add in crushed tomatoes, beef stock and salt—probably a little more than you think you need.
Bring everything up to a boil and add your pasta. You want it to be completely submerged, so break the noodles in half if your pot isn’t wide enough. Cook the pasta over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Keep in mind that the pasta will continue to cook and absorb liquid off the heat. For perfectly tender noodles, take the pot off the burner while the pasta is still slightly undercooked.
Stir in your creamer of choice and allow the pasta to rest for about 10 minutes. The sauce will thicken as it cools and the pasta will continue to soften. Serve the Harissa Pasta Bolognese in shallow bowls with a sprinkle of fresh parsley and enjoy!
More Pasta Please
- Wild Mushroom and White Bean Tagliatelle
- Creamy Miso-Butter Pasta with Sweet Corn
- Roasted Garlic Fettuccine