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Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese – or “spag bol” as they call it down under – ain’t your run-of-the-mill Italian cliché. Forget what you think you know. In Italy, it’s not just playing footsie with spaghetti; it’s out there flexing muscles in decadent lasagne or kicking back with some flat pasta. Culinary detours, my friends, that’s where the real stories are born.

Picture this: you’re in the kitchen, ready to tackle a beast of a Bolognese. Ground beef hits the hot tub of olive oil, sizzling and browning like it’s auditioning for a cooking show. Chop up onions, carrots, celery, and garlic – the entourage that brings the real flavor to the party.

Now, here’s where the plot thickens. A splash of red wine, if you’re feeling a little rebellious, to add layers to the narrative. Then, cue the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and a symphony of broth. Sprinkle in dried oregano, basil, thyme, and a pinch of salt and pepper – the spices writing their own saga.

The pot, my friends, is where the alchemy happens. Simmer low and slow, 1.5 to 2 hours of flavor foreplay. The crescendo? A drizzle of whole milk or heavy cream, turning this sauce into a velvety masterpiece.

Meanwhile, backstage, a pot of water is hitting a boil. Spaghetti dives in, emerging al dente, ready for its close-up. Plate the pasta, drape it with that Bolognese magic, and sprinkle Parmesan like confetti on New Year’s Eve.

Let it chill for 15, let the flavors tango, and there you have it – Spaghetti Bolognese, not just a dish but a narrative, an ode to culinary rebellion that’ll make you question everything you thought you knew about Italian classics. Cheers to the detours, my friends!

Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese

This Spaghetti Bolognese recipe features a rich and authentic Italian Bolognese sauce with ground beef, aromatic vegetables, and a blend of herbs, simmered to perfection. The sauce, which can cozy up to various pasta types, is made even more decadent with the addition of milk or cream. Served over perfectly cooked spaghetti and garnished with Parmesan and fresh herbs, this classic dish is a delightful culinary journey through the heart of Italy.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 4 people
Calories 500 kcal


  • Large saucepan or Dutch oven
  • Wooden spoon
  • Chef's knife
  • Cutting board
  • Large pot for boiling pasta
  • Colander


  • 1 pound (450g) ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 2 celery stalks diced
  • 3 cloves garlic minced
  • ½ cup (125ml) red wine (optional)
  • 2 cans 14 oz each crushed tomatoes
  • ¼ cup (60g) tomato paste
  • 1 cup (240ml) beef or vegetable broth
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup (120ml) whole milk or heavy cream
  • 1 pound (450g) spaghetti
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving


  • Fresh basil or parsley


  • Brown the Meat: Heat olive oil in a large saucepan, then add the ground beef, cooking until it’s browned and crumbly with a wooden spoon.
  • Vegetable Base: Introduce chopped onions, carrots, celery, and garlic to the browned meat, sautéing until the vegetables become tender.
  • Wine and Tomatoes: Optionally pour in red wine, allowing it to simmer briefly, then add crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and beef or vegetable broth. Stir the mixture well.
  • Seasonings: Incorporate dried oregano, basil, thyme, salt, and pepper, stirring to combine. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and let it simmer for at least 1.5 to 2 hours, stirring occasionally.
  • Finish the Sauce: Pour in the milk or heavy cream, stirring, and let it simmer for an additional 15 minutes. Adjust the seasoning to taste.
  • Cook the Pasta: Boil water in a large pot, cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions, and drain the pasta using a colander.
  • Serve: Plate the cooked spaghetti, ladle the Bolognese sauce over the top, and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil or parsley.
  • Enjoy: Allow the dish to rest for about 15 minutes before serving to let the flavors meld. Serve warm and savor your authentic Spaghetti Bolognese!


  1. Customize the meat blend by using a mix of beef and pork for extra flavor.
  2. The red wine is optional and can be omitted.
  3. Opt for heavy cream for a richer sauce instead of milk.
  4. This sauce freezes well, making it a convenient option for future meals.
Keyword Bolognese Sauce, Italian Pasta, Spaghetti Bolognese
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Erika Herbert
Erika Herbert