Rigatoni and fennel Bolognese

SmartPoints® value per serving
Total Time
47 min
15 min
32 min
This lightened version of Bolognese still has a good helping of lean ground beef and a big boost of flavor from the bacon, fennel, and Parmesan cheese. You can serve the Parmesan cheese on the side instead of stirring it into the sauce to keep an eye on the calories, if you prefer. You’ll need about 1/2 pound dry rigatoni to get 4 cups cooked. Also, if you've never used them before, crushing the fennel seeds releases their rich, aromatic flavor. To do so, place the fennel seeds between sheets of wax paper and pound with a wooden mallet, the end of a rolling pin, or the bottom of a heavy mug.


Uncooked 90% lean ground beef

¾ pound(s)

Uncooked turkey bacon

3 slice(s), chopped

Uncooked onion(s)

1 medium, chopped

Uncooked fennel bulb(s)

½ medium, cored and chopped

Uncooked carrot(s)

1 medium, chopped

Garlic clove(s)

2 medium clove(s), minced

Fennel seeds

1 tsp, lightly crushed

Canned crushed tomatoes

28 oz

White wine

½ cup(s), dry

Grated Parmesan cheese

¼ cup(s)

Black pepper

¼ tsp, freshly ground

Cooked rigatoni

4 cup(s), hot


  1. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the beef and bacon. Cook, breaking the beef up with a spoon, until the beef and bacon brown, 4–6 minutes. Add the onion, fennel, carrot, garlic, and fennel seeds. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables are slightly softened, 5–6 minutes.
  2. Stir the tomatoes and wine into the skillet; bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and simmer, stirring occasionally, until slightly thickened, 12–15 minutes. Remove from the heat, then stir in the Parmesan cheese and pepper. Serve over the rigatoni. Yields 2⁄3 cup sauce and 2⁄3 cup rigatoni per serving.