Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

Credits -Image: Photo by piyato. Image ID: 100206828

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese has long been a favourite of mine, and, as it turns out, everybody in our family loves it too, including the boys.

Having a chef background, I can also appreciate that everybody has their own favourite recipe. And after years of tasting, tweaking and experimenting, here is my favourite Spaghetti Bolognese recipe.


Portions x 4

Medium Onion (diced)       x 1
Dried Mixed Herbs             x Pinch
Garlic Clove (crushed)       x 1
Lean Minced Beef              x 400g
Tomato Puree                    x 1tbsp
Chopped Tomatoes           x 1 400g (tinned)
Beef Stock Cube               x 2
Worcestershire Sauce       x 1dsp
Balsamic Vinegar              x 2dsp
Dried Spaghetti                x 400g



  1. Select the right sized saucepan to cook your Spaghetti Bolognese in and add a small amount of water. Heat and then add your diced onion, garlic and mixed herbs.Cook for about five minutes, stirring to ensure that they don’t burn.
  2. Add your minced beef and stir until the meat is completely brown.
  3. Add your tomato puree, Worchestshire sauce and balsamic vinegar and mix well.
  4. Dissolve your beef stock cubes in about 400ml of hot water and then add it to your beef.
  5. Now add your chopped tomatoes, mix in well and bring to the boil. Once this has been achieved, turn the gas hob down and allow your bolognese sauce to simmer.
  6. Allow to cook for four hours, topping up with water when necessary.
  7. Twelve minutes from time, cook your spaghetti in hot water and serve immediately. Top with either cheddar cheese and/or flaked parmesan.
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I can’t remember the last time I made just enough bolognese for dinner. It’s one of those dishes that you can make in bulk, divi up and stockpile your freezer with. If however, you are making it in advance, it should be good to keep in the fridge for up to three days. After that, you’re on your own.

Alternative Recipes

The great thing about cooking (but not baking) is that there is no right or wrong (well, to a certain extent anyway). It’s all about taste and personal preferences.

This next recipe was the one that inspired us to cook our Bolognese sauce for four hours, as opposed to the twenty-thirty minutes we had done previously. As you can see, it’s totally different to the one above.


200g Lean Mince Beef
200g Minced Pork
500ml Passata

And then…

Brown the meat, add the Passata and simmer for four hours. Remember to keep topping up with a little water and stir with a spoon every now and then. Season to taste.

Alternative Ingredients

Cooking is about a matter of taste, and if you don’t like some of the ingredients, then you might want to change some of them. Try these, instead of…

Dried Mixed Herbs – Use fresh herbs by chopping and mixing together some Thyme, Marjory and oregano.

Lean Minced Beef – You can use any minced beef, but the more fat content the beef has, the more it will sit on the top during cooking.

During the beef crisis in the late 80’s, my parents stopped using beef altogether and started using minced chicken

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Beef Stock Cube – Fresh beef stock. There aren’t many people that are likely to have this readily available but if you do, then use it. It will add a lot more flavour.

Worcestershire Sauce / Balsamic Vinegar – Pre the two boys, we used to add a little red wine but if you’re going to do that, remember what Keith Floyd used to say –

If it’s not good enough to drink out of a glass, then don’t put it in your cooking.

Dried Spaghetti – Bolognese sauce can be served with any other pasta. Don’t just limit yourself to spaghetti.

If you want to do something different with your pasta, try drizzling some Basil Olive Oil with it, then give it a stir, just before adding your bolognese sauce.

Alternative Dishes

Once you’ve made your Bolognese sauce, it can be made for different dishes such as

  • Lasagne
  • Pasta Bake
  • Cannelloni

Or, if you’re looking for a light lunch alternative, I have been known to have it on toast, finished under the grill with melted cheese on top. Actually, it’s quite nice.

What Can You Serve Spaghetti Bolognese with?

Wine -According to Fiona Becket over at, with so many arguments on who provides the best bolognese sauce recipe, the argument continues when it comes to wine too.

So, you can either try…

  • A medium-bodied Italian red such as Chianti, Montepulciano d’Abruzzo or a Sicilian red.
  • An Italian grape variety such as Barbera or Sangiovese.
  • An inexpensive Languedoc or Roussillon red.
  • Zinfandel is always good with tomato-based pasta sauces.

And if you don’t like any of those suggestions, it’s always good to stick with what you know or more importantly, what you enjoy.

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Bread – We are all bread lovers in our family and so it’s fairly common for us to have bread with our Spaghetti Bolognese. Here are a few suggestions…

  • Sliced buttered baguette
  • Cheese and tomato stone baked bread
  • Garlic or cheesy garlic bread

If you want to try something different, why not make some Basil and Sundried Tomato slices? It really is quite simple…

Method – Slice up a baguette and toast it on both sides. In a bowl, add about 2tbsp of butter, a handful of grated cheese (Mozzarella is best), a teaspoon of Parmesan cheese, about three sliced sundried tomatoes and about 6-8 shredded Basil leaves. Mix it all up and spread it on the toasted baguette then grill.

What’s Your Favourite Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe?

If you have a favourite recipe, why not share it with us? Either contact me or leave a comment and I will then provide a link back to your recipe as I have shared with #foodpornthursdays over at

Cuddle Fairy


Image: Photo by piyato. Image ID: 100206828
Linkies: #foodpornthursdays | | |


  • I have never considered using a beef stock cube and Worcestershire Sauce. Spaghetti is a monthly adventure around here so I will have to try it soon.

    And adding the wine pairings is a great touch. Wines are a little intimidating to put with food sometimes so that’s really helpful!

    • Martin

      Thank you for taking the time to pass by and comment. To make it extra beefy, I used to add a teaspoon of Bovril to it too. If you do this though, make sure you cut down on your seasoning.

      If you try it, please let us know how it turned out. Feedback is always important.

      Enjoy – Martin

  • I’m always interested to see how others make their spag bog as its features regularly on our dining table and it’s my sons favourite! I’ve never put balsamic vinegar in so I’ll give that a try next time! Thanks x

    • Martin

      Hi! Thanks for passing by and taking the time to comment, it’s much appreciated.
      Hope you enjoy your Spaghetti Bolognese with a touch of Balsamic Vinegar.
      Let me know how it turns out.
      Thanks and enjoy.

  • We are big spaghetti bolognese fans! I love how easy it is to make and it’s fantastic for leftovers too. I never added balsamic vinegar or Worchester sauce! I’ll have to give that a try! Thanks so much for linking up with #foodpornthursdays 🙂

    • Martin

      Hi Becky, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment.

      We’ve always used Worchester sauce but only started using Balsamic vinegar when my wife was feeding and had to leave out the red wine.

      Although she’s not been feeding for some years now, we’ve just never gone back.

      If you get round to trying it, let us know what you thought.

      Thanks, Martin.

      Posted on #foodpornthursdays

  • We love a good spaghetti bolognese here at the Kitchen Shed & we’re bread lovers too, We usually have ours with garlic & herb twister bread but I love the sound of your Basil & Sundried tomato slices, definitely going to try 🙂

    • Martin

      Thank you for taking the time to stop and leave a comment.

      It took a little experimenting before I came up with the Basil & Sundries Tomato bread but as you’ll discover, it was worth it.

      The only problem I have now is that the kids don’t eat many things that are green, nor do they eat ‘foreign’ food that doesn’t look normal (although it has to said, Harrison will try most things once). That basically means I’m left with cheese on toast!

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