Summer buffalo bolognese


I don’t often cook buffalo (it’s a pretty expensive ingredient) though I love the subtle gamey quality of the meat.

It pairs so effortlessly against blistered tomatoes, toasted pine nuts and fresh basil, all mixed up in a cloud of summer bolognese.

In my book, this makes for the perfect summertime dinner. Best enjoyed alfresco!

Tips: if you need to generally source buffalo here in the US, D’Artagnan is your best bet.


Summer buffalo bolognese

You’ll need:

(serves two)

  • whole wheat thin spaghetti
  • 12 buffalo mince  (or beef mince as substitute)
  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 large T tomato paste
  • a pinch of chili flakes
  • 3 T red wine vinegar
  • a pinch of sugar
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • 2 “strands” cherry tomatoes
  • fresh basil leaves
  • salt, pepper
  • olive oil

1. Preheat oven to 450F. Line a baking sheet with foil and roast tomatoes for 15-20 minutes until just blistered, but not bursting.

2. Turn oven off, take out the cherry tomatoes and keep them warm. Toast the pine nuts (in the still hot oven) on the same baking sheet for about 5-7 minutes.

3. Start sweating the onions with a little bit of oil in a large sauté pan.

4. Boil water for pasta and cook according to package instructions.

While the pasta cooks, make the sauce.

5. Add minced meat, garlic, and a bit more olive oil  to the onions and cook on high heat until just browned, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon or a fork as you go along.

6. Add salt, pepper, chili flakes, sugar and tomato paste to the pan and stir together. Cook for a few more minutes, then deglaze with the red wine vinegar.

7. Let the vinegar cook out and taste for seasoning. Keep pan warm while you assemble the dish.IMG_1411

Drain pasta and toss with a little bit of olive oil and lemon juice. Top with bolognese sauce, tomatoes, pine nuts, and basil leaves and serve immediately.



  1. Oh, this pasta and sauce look so good! I get a lot of my meats from D’Artagnan. So glad they exist! Love the photos, too!

  2. Just your first photo and description has captured my full attention. I have never had buffalo but even with just ground beef and your blistered tomatoes and seasonings this would make this the perfect alfresco dining experience with a nice glass of wine of course. Have a super week. BAM

  3. There is a buffalo ranch not to far from our cottage in Maine and usually once a year we stop by to purchase some steaks. Next time, I’ll have to get some ground meat as your recipe sounds good.

  4. Buffalo is delicious, although elk is my favourite meat, I think. There’s a butcher shop nearby that carries a range of game products (along with duck and other good things) and it’s nice to get access to flavours beyond the usual beef, pork, and chicken.

    • saffronandhoney saffronandhoney says:

      Sounds great! I very much agree – it’s nice to work (and eat!) with a variety of meats. And game is full of wonderful flavors.

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