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Spaghetti Bolognese

 In Dinner/Supper, Meat, Pasta, Recipes

Spaghetti Bolognese

If you have kids, Spaghetti Bolognese is probably firmly lodged in your recipe repertoire along with mac & cheese and chicken nuggets. I, myself, cook it more often than I’d like to admit because I know my kids will gobble up an entire bowl without fighting and I get to cram it full with assorted vegetables. In my first book, Simple & Delicious, I have a recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese with loads of hidden veg which is just perfect for fussy eaters. Luckily, my kids are eager vegetable eaters so I don’t have to hide it too much.

Spaghetti Bolognese

With this version I wanted to keep it really simple and have just a few ingredients lending their flavours to this family staple. I started with a simple soffrito/mirepoix consisting of carrot, onion and celery which adds real depth of flavour to the finished sauce. I also browned the beef because I think that it adds real meatiness. You could of course just add the mince to the soffrito once it’s cooked but I just don’t think it does as much to the finished dish.

Spaghetti Bolognese

This bolognese recipe also works really well as chili con carne if you add some tinned beans, a few spices like cumin and coriander and a little chilli. In fact, I often serve this bolognese in bowls with some fresh chilli, sour cream and guacamole. It also works well in lasagne, quesidillas and with nachos. To make life easier, double this recipe and freeze in portions for those nights where you just can’t be bothered to stand in front of the stove for longer than 15 minutes.


Spaghetti Bolognese
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dinner, Pasta, Family,
Serves: 4-6
  • 500g beef mince/ground beef
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 celery sticks, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 fresh thyme sprigs
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 2x 400g tins Italian tomatoes
  • 250ml beef stock
  • salt & pepper to taste
to serve
  • 500g spaghetti/pasta of your choice
  • finely grated Parmesan
  1. Brown the beef in a large pot in batched until well browned. Remove from the pot and set aside.
  2. In the same pot, add a splash of oil and fry the onion, carrot and celery for 10-15 minutes until soft and fragrant.
  3. Add the garlic, bay leaf, thyme and rosemary and fry for another minute.
  4. Add the beef back to the pot and add the tomatoes and beef stock.
  5. Lower the heat so the sauce simmers and cover. Allow to cook for 30 minutes. If the sauce is too watery, remove the lid for the last 10 minutes of simmering so the liquid can reduce.
  6. In the meantime, cook the pasta in a big pot of boiling salted water.
  7. Serve the bolognese with the cooked spaghetti and a generous grating of Parmesan.

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Alida Ryder
Being a general food freak has proven to be quite helpful in this career I've found myself in. Author of two cookbooks, photographer, food stylist. Mom to twins. Ex make-up and hair artist obsessed with beautiful clothes and spaces. I love a good G&T and I've been known to spend too much money on shoes.
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Showing 4 comments
  • Becky Plummer Rutland

    As advised by my Italian cab driver in Taormina, Sicily: when spaghetti is about two minutes undercooked, add it to the sauce to finish cooking so it can absorb some of the saucy flavor. Add a half-ladle of pasta cooking water at a time to loosen the sauce if it becomes too tight.

  • Aninas Recipes

    So simple yet so delicious! Love this!!

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  • […] Menu Plan Monday is here! I refuse to let computer troubles get me down on this Monday. I apologize for the delay. From a persnickety iPhoto library, to a mouse that didn’t want to scroll and then throw in an irrigation repair, a trip to get groceries and a furniture specialist to fix the gouges left by the movers on the stairs and there went my day! And of course I cooked dinner. So let’s see what’s in store for this week. Monday: Chicken Pot Pie Sadly, this was not so great.  I’m working on my gluten free crust skills in preparation for Thanksgiving.  I really want to have a piece of my apple pie, crust included! I followed this recipe from the book I mentioned previously, Gluten Free Baking by Michael McCamley.  I can tell you what went wrong.  The directions say to, “Add a little water.”  Really? How much I ask you? Some starting measurement like, “Add a tablespoon of water until…” would have been nice. I have no frame of reference for how a gluten free pie crust should feel.  After chilling in the fridge for 30 minutes and then rolling it out I realized it was too dry.  So I scrapped the pie idea and grabbed my ramekins.  I topped each scoop of Chicken Pot Pie filling with a pie crust crumble and brushed butter on for good measure, even that didn’t rescue the failed crust.  It was edible, but not the delectable crust I was hoping for. Tuesday: Leftovers, or since dinner didn’t turn out, maybe we’ll order pizza.  Wednesday: Spaghetti Bolognese […]

  • […] Complete recipe: Simply Delicious […]

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