The Best Spaghetti Bolognese (Family Approved)
There's a few secrets to creating the Best Spaghetti Bolognese recipe and here I'll show you exactly what they are! A delicious and easy bolognese that your family are going to fall in love with.
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time1 hr 45 mins
Total Time2 hrs
Servings: 6 people
Cost: £3 / $4
Large Dutch Oven / Pot with Heavy Lid (for bolognese)
Large Pot, Colander & Pasta Tongs (for spaghetti)
Sharp Knife & Chopping Board
Jug (for stock)
Large Side Bowl (to transfer beef)
Fine Cheese Grater
- 1lb / 500g Dried Spaghetti
- 2lbs / 1kg Ground Beef (see notes)
- 3 cups / 750ml Tomato Passata (pureed tomatoes in US)
- 1 cup / 250ml Beef Stock
- 1 cup / 250ml Red Wine (see notes)
- 5oz / 150g Smoked Bacon, finely diced (see notes)
- 3/4 cup / 100g Sun Dried Tomatoes, finely diced
- 1/4 cup / 20g Freshly Grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve (see notes)
- 2 tbsp Tomato Puree (Tomato Paste in US)
- 3 cloves Garlic, finely diced
- 1 large White Onion, finely diced
- 2 large sprigs of Fresh Rosemary, finely diced
- 1 large handful of Fresh Basil, finely diced
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
- 1 tsp Sugar, or to taste
- Salt & Pepper, to taste
- Olive Oil, as needed
Heat up a drizzle of oil in a large pot/dutch oven over medium-high heat and add 2lb/1kg ground beef. Leave to brown for a few mins, then break up with a wooden spoon. Season with a pinch of salt and pepper, then continue frying until nicely browned. Remove from pot.
Add a drizzle of oil (if needed) then add 5oz/150g diced bacon. Fry until the bacon begins to brown, then add 1 diced large onion. Continue frying until the onion begins to soften and brown, then add 1cup/100g diced sun dried tomatoes and 3 minced cloves of garlic. Fry for another 2-3mins until the garlic begins to brown.
Lower heat to medium and add 2 tbsp tomato puree. Fry for 1-2mins, then stir in 1cup/250m red wine. Allow the wine to simmer and reduce for at least 5 mins to burn off alcohol (should start forming a paste). Stir back in your beef.
Pour in 3cups/750ml passata (shake any left in the bottle out with a splash of water), 1cup/250ml beef stock and 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce, then add your basil & rosemary and salt, pepper and sugar to taste. Give everything a good stir then pop on the lid, reduce the heat to low and simmer for 1 hour 30mins (stir a few times during). This is important as it tenderises the beef and marries the flavours together.
Meanwhile, pop 1lb/500g spaghetti in salted boiling water and cook until al dente.
Take lid off the bolognese and cook for a further 10-15mins without the lid (so it can reduce/thicken) then stir in 1/4cup/20g parmesan. Serve bolognese poured over spaghetti or the spaghetti mixed in. Extra parmesan. Always extra parmesan. Enjoy!
a) Beef - I usually go for around 10% fat. Gives a bit more flavour, without draining it in fat. If you've only got high fat beef, say 20%, I recommend draining some fat when you cook. In both instances I recommend investing in some good quality beef. Will make the difference!
b) Red Wine - Adds a gorgeous depth of flavour to the bolognese. Most, if not all of the alcohol will burn off, but if for whatever reason you don't want to add it then just use more water/beef stock. I'm no wine expert, but usually go for dry red, something like Cabernet Sauvignon or Merlot.
c) Bacon - I always go for smoked, just for an extra punch of flavour. But regular works fine. If you can find pancetta that works perfectly too!
d) Parmesan - Ensure you're using freshly grated, not the powdered stuff!
e) Dried Herbs - I always use fresh herbs for this, I think you get a better result. So I do recommend using fresh if you can. If not then sub 1 heaped tsp of each (basil and rosemary).
f) Time - Hugely important to simmer for at least an hour and a half. Also important you've got a heavy lid to go on top (so the steam doesn't escape and reduce the sauce). Remember, there's no such thing as a 'quick bolognese'!
g) Freezing - Perfect to freeze leftovers! Just allow to cool, pop in an airtight container and store in the freezer. Thaw in the fridge overnight and heat on the stove (with a splash of water if needed).
h) Calories - Based on using 1 tbsp olive for frying, no extra parmesan, 10% beef, shared between 6.
Calories: 769kcal | Carbohydrates: 69.95g | Protein: 47.31g | Fat: 29.46g | Saturated Fat: 7.186g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.43g | Monounsaturated Fat: 8.501g | Trans Fat: 0.854g | Cholesterol: 102mg | Sodium: 424mg | Potassium: 1477mg | Fiber: 4.9g | Sugar: 9.85g | Vitamin A: 1153IU | Vitamin C: 20.6mg | Calcium: 106mg | Iron: 6.04mg