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Spaghetti Bolognese with Tips and Video

I give you a simple to make and delicious Spaghetti Bolognese recipe. A great-tasting meal with flavorful Bolognese sauce seasoned with spices available in every kitchen. Making the meat sauce is easy. Some cook it for a long time for more depth of flavor, but in this post, I will also show you how to cook it in thirty minutes and get the same result. Don’t forget to watch the video and follow the tips to make this meal a hit! There is no alcohol or pork in this recipe.

Overhead shot of spaghetti bolognese.

What’s the difference between Bolognese and meat sauce?

Bolognese sauce and meat sauce are the same. However, Bolognese is derived from the word Bologna a city in Italy. There is a slight difference between American meat sauce and Italian meat sauce. The Italian meat sauce has milk, wine, a mixture of beef and pork, and sometimes a mix of beef and Italian sausages.

Ingredients to make spaghetti Bolognese

To make Spaghetti Bolognese, you will need a few simple ingredients that are most probably available in your kitchen. However, there are a few things that you have to pay attention to have a great-tasting meat sauce.

Ground beef – I have used lamb meat for this recipe, and it came out good. If you are going for beef, chuck is excellent in meat sauce.

Onion – Go for purple or yellow onion; they have great flavor and release a slight sweetness which balances the acidity released from the tomatoes.

Garlic – In this recipe, I have used large cloves of garlic; hence I used four; if you have medium-size garlic cloves use 6; if the garlic clove is small, go for 9 cloves.

Fresh tomatoes – I avoid canned tomato puree; it has an after taste that can ruin the flavor of the meat sauce depending on the brand you are using; hence, I have pureed 2 large tomatoes. Pick dark red tomatoes that are just ripe and not hard.

Salt to taste.

Black pepper.

Paprika.

Tomato paste – Some people prefer to use ketchup, which is fine but keep in mind that some brands add a lot of sugar to their ketchup. You don’t want the Bolognese sauce to come out sweet.

Bay leaves.

Dry oregano or Italian seasoning.

Olive oil.

Butter.

Large carrot.

Water or beef stock – When you add the water or beef stock to the meat in the last step, make sure it’s boiling.

Cooked spaghetti.

Spaghetti bolognese served in a white plate.

How to make spaghetti Bolognese the regular way (more than an hour)

We cook the meat sauce for an hour and a half to two hours to reduce and get thicker in texture. The thick sauce clings to the spaghetti and has more flavor to it!

  • In a pan, add the olive oil and butter. When the butter melts, add the chopped onion and fry until translucent.
  • Add the garlic and cook for a few seconds. To the same pan, add the meat and brown it.
  • To the meat, add the shredded carrot and cook for 3 minutes. Add the black pepper, paprika, and bay leaves, mix for three minutes.
  • Add the tomato puree to the previous mixture, mix for 5 minutes, then add the tomato paste, salt, oregano, or the Italian seasoning—Cook for 7 minutes.
  • Pour the beef stock or water and let the meat sauce cook for one hour and a half to two hours.
  • To the sauce, add the cooked spaghetti and mix for a few seconds. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Allow the flavor to come together for 15 to 20 minutes and then serve with shredded parmesan cheese.
Close up image of spaghetti bolognese garnished with mint leaves.

How to make spaghetti Bolognese the quick way (30 minutes)

Usually, if the meat sauce is not cooked for a long time, it doesn’t thicken, and when served with spaghetti, it won’t cling to it plus, you will have a watery sauce and not thick and creamy. But if you do not have that much time to cook the meat Bolognese sauce, follow the step below!

  • After adding the onion, add one and a half tablespoons of all-purpose flour and fry until the onion is translucent.
  • When adding the tomato puree, make sure to keep on stirring to prevent the lumps from forming. Do the same when adding the beef stock or water.
  • Cook the sauce for 30 minutes or until it thickens, then add the cooked spaghetti and mix well.

How to make this dish vegetarian

This Bolognese sauce is full of flavor, and you can turn it into a vegetarian version with ease. Add mushrooms, potatoes, or eggplant. Continue with the recipe as mentioned above. The only thing you need to change is the cooking time and the amount of liquid. Add half the amount of liquid and stop cooking when the vegetables are thoroughly cooked.

How to store the leftover spaghetti Bolognese

It is best to sprinkle a tablespoon of olive oil on the spaghetti Bolognese and then transfer it to an airtight container. Keep refrigerated for up to 4 days, and it can stay in the freezer for up to 2 months.

Two plates of spaghetti bolognese garnished with parmesan cheese.
Spaghetti mixed with meat sauce and parmesan cheese.

What to serve with this Spaghetti Bolognese?

You can serve Garlic knots or Focaccia bread with spaghetti Bolognese. And in my opinion, the best dessert to serve after this delicious meal is Tiramisu.

Small featured image of spaghetti bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

Hearty Spaghetti Bolognese that’s made from scratch! Full of flavor, and it stores well!
5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Meal
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: bolognese sauce, meat sauce, spaghetti bolognese
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 45 minutes
Servings: 4 people
Calories: 490kcal
Author: Muna Kenny

Ingredients

  • 500 gm or 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 large onion chopped
  • 4 large minced garlic
  • Puree of 2 large tomatoes
  • 3 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 large carrot shredded
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • Salt to taste
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dry oregano or Italian seasoning
  • 3 cups of boiling water

Instructions

  • In a hot pan, add the olive oil and butter. When the butter melts, add the chopped onion and sauté until translucent. Add the minced garlic and cook for a few seconds.
  • Add the ground beef and brown it; there shouldn’t be water in the pan.
  • To the browned beef, add shredded carrot and cook for 3 minutes. Season the meat with black pepper, paprika, and bay leaves, mix for three minutes.
  • Pour the freshly made tomato puree, cook while stirring for 5 minutes, then add the tomato paste, salt, oregano, or the Italian seasoning—Cook for 7 minutes.
  • Add the boiling beef stock or water to the beef mixture. Allow the meat sauce to cook for one hour and a half to two hours. Keep checking and stirring the sauce.
  • To the sauce, add the cooked spaghetti and mix for a few seconds. Turn off the heat and cover the pan. Allow the flavor to come together for 15 to 20 minutes, and then serve the Spaghetti Bolognese with shredded parmesan cheese.

Video

Notes

• Use purple onion for more flavor.
• You can add bacon to the sauce after browning the meat.
• You can use chicken stock instead of beef, but if you are making this vegetarian, use vegetable stock.
• In the post, I mentioned a method to thick the sauce and cook it in 30 minutes, under the title How to make spaghetti Bolognese the quick way (30 minutes).
• When using canned tomato puree, taste it before adding it to the meat; if the tomato puree tastes sour, add a teaspoon of sugar to the sauce to balance the flavors.
• Cook the spaghetti as per the instruction on the box. The spaghetti will cook further after adding to the sauce.
• You can add parmesan cheese in the sauce or on the spaghetti Bolognese when serving it.

Nutrition

Calories: 490kcal | Carbohydrates: 50g | Protein: 39g | Fat: 10.7g | Saturated Fat: 3.1g
DID YOU TRY THIS RECIPE?Follow me on Instagram @munatycooking or tag #munatycooking!

2 Comments

  1. One of my husband’s favourite meals! Wonderful that you cooked everything from the scratching without using any prefix.

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