There are so many spaghetti bolognese recipes out there and I am pretty sure that Italians must be shaking their heads at all the variations the rest of us make.

Over the years I have played around with the recipe adding a bit of this and bit of that.  What I have found is that the longer you can cook that sauce on low heat, the more intense the flavour.  This is most certainly not a quick bolognese sauce but simmering it for about 50-60 minutes is definitely worth it!

One of my favourite pasta dishes is with an Arabiatta sauce, a rich tomato, onion and chilli sauce.  So, I like to add chilli to my bolognese sauce, but you can omit this ingredient if spicy is not your thing.

Bon appetito!!!

You’ll need

  • 400g x beef mince
  • 1 Tbsp x olive oil
  • 1 x onion, finely chopped
  • 100g x pancetta or smokey bacon, chopped
  • 100g x mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 x celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 2 x large cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 x medium carrot, grated
  • 1 x red chilli, finely chopped (optional)
  • 2 Tbsp x tomato paste
  • 410g x tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 cup x beef or vegetable stock
  • ½ cup x red wine
  • 1 tsp x dried oregano
  • 1 tsp x sugar
  • Pinch of nutmeg
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • 500g x spaghetti pasta or tagliatelle
  • Fresh basil (optional)
  • Freshly grated parmesan


  1. Start by heating 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large heavy based pan that comes with a lid on low- to medium heat.
  2. Add the bacon and fry until lightly brown.
  3. Add the onion, celery and mushrooms and fry until golden.
  4. Remove the mix with a slotted spoon from the pan but leave the bacon fat in the pan. Set aside the mix until needed.
  5. Add the mince meat and fry until brown. As it browns, continue to break down the meat with a wooden spatula so that it doesn't form clumps.
  6. Return the onion/mushroom mix to the pan.
  7. Add the garlic and chilli and cook for about a 1 minute.
  8. Deglaze your pan with the red wine and cook for a further 1 minute.
  9. Add the tomato paste, tin of chopped tomatoes and beef stock.
  10. Add the oregano, pinch of nutmeg, sugar and black pepper and stir well.
  11. Cover with the lid and cook on a low temperature for 50-60 minutes.
  12. Remove the lid, stir and adjust the seasoning. (I purposely add the salt at the end as your stock might have a high salt content)
  13. Cook your spaghetti as per the instruction on the packet.
  14. Place your spaghetti in a bowl and top with the bolognaise sauce.
  15. Grate over fresh parmesan cheese and a scattering of fresh basil leaves.

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