A delicious easy spaghetti bolognese recipe is a family classic and requires minimal effort for maximum reward. Serve with garlic bread and crunchy salad for the ultimate weeknight meal.
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.
What is Spaghetti Bolognese?
Bolognese sauce is a slow-cooked meat sauce flavored with soffritto (onion, celery and carrots) and tomatoes. In Italy ragù alla bolognese is most often served with flat pasta like tagliatelle but across the world, spaghetti is a popular choice to serve the meaty sauce with.
Full recipe with amounts can be found in the recipe card below.
- Beef mince/Ground beef.
- Bay leaf.
- Tomatoes. I use Italian canned tomatoes.
- Beef stock/broth.
- Salt and pepper.
- Spaghetti, to serve.
- Parmesan cheese, to serve.
How to make Spaghetti Bolognese
- Make the meat sauce: In a large pot or deep braising pan, brown the beef in batches then remove and set aside. Saute the onion, garlic and celery in a few tablespoons of olive oil until soft and fragrant. Add the garlic and herbs and allow to cook for another minute then add the beef, tomatoes and stock and season to taste. Stir to combine then lower the heat and allow to simmer, partially covered, for 30 minutes. If the sauce is still too watery, remove the lid for the last 10 minutes of simmering.
- Serve: Cook spaghetti (or pasta of your choice) in a large pot of salted, boiling water until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of cooking water and strain. Combine the pasta with the sauce, adding a splash of the cooking water, then serve with a generous grating of Parmesan cheese.
Easy spaghetti recipes
- 500 g 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
- 2 x 400g tins Italian tomatoes
- 250 ml beef stock
- salt & pepper to taste
- 500 g spaghetti/pasta of your choice
- finely grated Parmesan
- Brown the beef in a large pot in batched until well browned. Remove from the pot and set aside.
- In the same pot, add a splash of oil and fry the onion, carrot and celery for 10-15 minutes until soft and fragrant.
- Add the garlic, bay leaf, thyme and rosemary and fry for another minute.
- Add the beef back to the pot and add the tomatoes and beef stock.
- 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.
- In the meantime, cook the pasta in a big pot of boiling salted water.
- Serve the bolognese with the cooked spaghetti and a generous grating of Parmesan.