Penny’s Spaghetti Bolognese

Delicious Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti bolognese is a popular dish because it is a tasty and easy pasta recipe which can be varied according to the ingredients you have in your fridge and cupboard. There is no definitive recipe for spaghetti bolognese. People tend to develop their own favourite version of it and this recipe is no exception.

I love this version, made with meat. I do enjoy vegetarian spaghetti bolognese too (recipe coming soon!), and you can simply substitute the meat with soya, quorn mince or cooked green lentils. You can also use the lentil mixture in the vegetarian lasagne recipe

A Family Favourite

This is my preferred recipe, developed over time and to the tastes of my family. The grated carrot is an adaptation that I use in several recipes as one of my children does not like carrot but found it perfectly acceptable when grated into dishes. It also sweetens the dish.

Although I do not include mushrooms in this recipe – mainly because I am not too fond of them – this is clearly an additional ingredient that could be added.

I enjoy plenty of garlic and tomato as well as herbs. I often used mixed herbs but oregano and basil are good herbs to use. Add your favourites.

Do adapt the recipe to suit your own tastes and likes.

Spaghetti bolognese is traditionally served with parmesan cheese but I think a sprinkling of mature cheddar cheese is also really good. A good green side salad goes well, with it and I am partial to a spoonful of coleslaw with it as well.

Spaghetti bolognese is best with spaghetti pasta but any pasta shapes can be used such a penne or conchiglie.

I ‘dry fry’ the beef as even in lean beef there is enough fat to brown the meat and then cook the onions and peppers. However if you are unconcerned about calories, you can use a little olive oil.

Spaghetti Bolognese

Serves 4


  • 500g / 1lb lean minced beef
  • 1 onion peeled and chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves peeled and crushed
  • 1 green pepper de-seeded and chopped
  • 250ml vegetable or beef stock
  • 400g /14oz chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried mixed herbs
  • 2 tablespoons tomato puree
  • 2 medium carrots, grated
  • 350g spaghetti or pasta shapes

Cooking Directions

  1. In a large saucepan, add the beef

  2. ‘Dry fry’ the beef mince until brown (without any added fat)

  3. Add the onions and cook until soft and transparent

  4. Add the garlic and pepper and cook for a further 5 minutes

  5. Add the stock, tomatoes, herbs, tomato puree and carrots

  6. Stir thoroughly, cover and reduce the heat to a simmer

  7. Cook for 30-40 minutes

  8. Just 15 minutes before the bolognese sauce will be ready, boil the kettle with plenty of water

  9. Use a large saucepan

  10. If using pasta shapes, place in the pan, cover with boiling water, and stir

  11. Simmer for 12-15 minutes or according to packet instructions

  12. If using spaghetti, pour the water into the pan and bring back to boil

  13. Place the spaghetti into the pan, vertically and gently lower it into the pan as it softens in the water

  14. Once all into the water, stir gently to prevent sticking

  15. Serve the pasta onto plates and top with bolognese sauce

  16. Top with grated Parmesan, Pecorino Romano or cheddar cheese.

More Pasta Recipes

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