Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

This post is part of an ongoing series about dinner ideas.

Spaghetti BologneseSpaghetti Bolognese is the most Australian-Italian recipe there is. It is a staple in nearly every university student’s diet, taught by their mother with instructions something along the lines of, “This is cheap, good for you and you can freeze it for a rainy day!” Cheap it is, with enough food to feed 4 or 5 well clocking in under $15. It is so easy it is almost a case of throwing all the ingredients in a pot, boiling some pasta and serving.

The actual Italian authenticity of this recipe is doubtful. It has almost certainly been bastardised by lazy, homely cooking techniques, but one thing is for certain, it never fails to please. It is easy and almost impossible to go wrong with and there are so many ways to modify and improve this recipe.

Ingredients, to serve 4

  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-large onion
  • 5 cloves of garlic, diced
  • 500g good quality mince
  • 2 tins of diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 200ml of stock, beef or vegetable
  • 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon of vegemite
  • Fresh or dried basil, parsley, oregano, thyme
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1/2 red capsicum, diced
  • 2 handfuls of swiss brown mushrooms, sliced
  • 500g homemade pasta (spaghetti) or 300g of dry pasta
  • 1 block parmesan cheese


Spaghetti Bolognese Over a medium heat in a deep frying pan, cook onions till they are clear in the olive oil, add the garlic and cook for about a minute. With the onions and garlic, fry the mince until it is brown. Stir into the mince the tomatoes, stock, tomato paste, vegemite and finally the herbs (the more the merrier). Let this simmer for approximately 10 minutes, before adding the carrot, capsicum and mushrooms. Cover and simmer for a minimum 10 or more minutes, the longer the better.

Cook the pasta with a liberal amount of salt, strain and 5 minutes before serving add to the sauce and stir in. This step is important as the pasta absorbs the flavours in the sauce and makes the meal that much better.

Serve in a deep bowl with cracked pepper, rock salt and a generous serving of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Wine Pairing

This meaty, tomato sauce is best eaten with an earthy, spicy, medium bodied red such as a young Cabernet Merlot, Sangiovese or Pinot Noir. Notes of tobacco, leather and dark cherries will complement but not overpower the rich tomato flavours. There is no need to overspend as most recent releases of these varieties will probably be suitable. Read the label and if the winemakers notes agree the wine will be great.

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11 Responses to “Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe”

  1. What should I have for dinner? commented:

    […] Spaghetti Bolognese – An Easy Pasta Recipe […]

  2. brucini commented:

    personally, i’m not sure about the carrots

  3. admin commented:

    Trust me, the carrots are brilliant. They must be sliced and cooked for a while. If you grate them, it makes the sauce too sweet.

  4. Amanda commented:

    I agree I am all about the carrots! I love it with any veggies actually. That what make spaghetti Bolonese so good, you can put anything you have in it and it tastes a treat!

  5. Karen Low commented:

    Actually, there is nothing remotely authentic about Spaghetti Bolognese. It’s a very un-Italian dish like Hawaiian Pizza! The traditional sauce is actually a Ragu and it’s eaten with fettuccine or tagliatelle and never with spaghetti.

    A bit of useless trivia for the night :) Either way that looks so good! And you’d be happy to know that carrots are very authentic in these sauces (useless trivia #2).

  6. Michael commented:

    I say spaghetti, but what I mean is pasta. Generally I prefer fettucine myself. No trivia is useless! None!

  7. halieyx commented:

    Great place you have here. I’ll be coming back often :)

  8. Tom commented:

    I’ll try this recipe next. Like the ugly papa who can’t believe how beautiful his newborn baby is — that such a thing could come from him — i, the novice, am proud of what I got from my attempt at Bolognese. I measured almost nothing but can give fair approximations. Please try this:

    Tom’s Semi-Homemade $8 Bolognese:

    – Grate one fair-sized carrot and finely chop half an onion (large onion) and a rib of celery. This is the famous French aromatic staple Mir-pois (or however it’s spelled). Season them with some Italian seasonings like Oregano, Basil, Thyme and Rosemary. Cook this in some olive oil, in a large Dutch oven or skillet, on medium heat for about 8 minutes.
    – Finely chop about 5 cloves of garlic and add them to your cooked onion/carrot/celery. Turn the heat in that pan to low.
    – In a second large pan, brown about 1.5-2 pounds (~0.75-1 KG) ground beef. Drain the beef of the excess fat. Yes, use a spoon.
    – Put the beef into the veggies’ pot. Chop up half of a large tomato (medium chop) and add it to the meat and veggies. Let them hang out together for, oh, about 10 minutes on medium-low heat. Re-season with the Italian herbs and some garlic powder if you have it.
    – Add about 12 ounces (1.5 cups or .75 pint) of milk to the pot. Give it a good stir and let it sit for 5 minutes. Add a tablespoon of sour cream and make sure you stir it in well — no clumps.
    – Add about 12 ounces of a dry white wine — I used Chablis. Stir that in. Let it sit for 5-10 more minutes.
    – Add two 24-ounce jars of spaghetti sauce. I used the cheap Kroger store brand but you can use any — Ragu, Prego, Hunt’s, whatever. Mine didn’t have too much sugar, which was okay.
    – Give it all a good stir, put it on Medium heat, put a lid on the pot and let it simmer for about 30 minutes. Stir it now and then to keep any from burning. Maybe put the heat one notch below medium.

    Taste it and season to your liking. If it’s a bit bitter, add some sugar (start with a teaspoon). If it’s a bit bland, add salt/pepper/garlic/Italian seasonings. I put a tablespoon (or so) of grated Parmesan cheese into it a few minutes before serving it over spaghetti. Then I topped it (on my plate) with more grated Parm.

    That worked really, really well for my girlfriend and I tonight, and I hope you get a chance to try it. And… I put the leftover pasta into the pot and mixed it up with the remaining “Bolignese” sauce and put it in the fridge. That sauce will continue to thicken overnight and WHOA will it be great again tomorrow!

    Take care, friends,


  9. Ruby commented:

    hey lisen THIS SUCKS ITS SHIT!

  10. Ruby commented:

    but i love fettachiini more

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