Plate of spaghetti bolognese on a light background

Spaghetti Bolognese

My go-to rich and satisfying weeknight bolognese. Ready in 30 minutes! Simple ingredients, without skimping on taste.
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Keyword Comfort Food, mid week dinner, pasta
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Nicky Corbishley

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion peeled and finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 1 carrot peeled and finely diced
  • 3 chestnut mushrooms finely diced
  • 1 lb (450g) minced beef – I often use 400g instead of 450g, as shops seem to sell them in 400g packs these days. So if you can only get a 400g pack, that's fine.
  • ½ cup (120ml) red wine
  • 3 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp dried thyme
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 beef stock cube crumbled
  • 28 oz (2 x 400g) canned chopped tomatoes
  • ½ tbsp light brown sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 10 ½ oz (300g) dried spaghetti

To serve:

  • Small bunch spring onions (scallions) chopped
  • grated parmesan

Instructions

  • Heat the oil in a frying pan over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes, stirring often, until the onion softens.
  • Add the garlic and cook for a further minute.
  • Add the carrot and mushrooms and cook for a further 2-3 minutes.
  • Add the minced beef and cook for 5-6 minutes, until browned. Stir often, breaking up any large chunks of meat with a spatula.
  • Add the wine. Bring to the boil and let it bubble for 2-3 minutes, until reduced by three quarters.
  • Add the tomato puree, oregano, thyme, Worcestershire sauce, beef stock cube, tinned tomatoes, brown sugar, salt and pepper. Stir and bring to the boil. Turn down the heat and simmer for 15 -20 minutes until thickened.
  • Meanwhile, boiled a large pan of salted water. Add the spaghetti and cook for 10-12 minutes until al dente.
  • Drain the spaghetti and divide between 6 bowls.
  • Spoon the bolognese on top of the spaghetti and sprinkle on the spring onions and parmesan before serving.

Notes

Can I make it gluten free?

Yes - ensure you use a gluten-free stock cube, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce and of course gluten-free spaghetti and you're all set.

Can I leave out the wine?

The wine adds a little extra richness to the dish. You can leave it out if you prefer, or you could replace with 1/2 cup (120ml) beef stock and an extra splash of Worcestershire sauce.

Can I add in extra veg?

Yes, bolognese is a great way to get extra veg into your meal, and it can also bulk it out more if you want to reduce the amount of meat in it. I prefer to keep the veg fairly finely chopped - as great big lumps of vegetable just don't work with a ragu like this.
Try adding finely chopped celery, peppers (bell peppers), courgette (zucchini) or aubergine (eggplant).

Best beef mince:

Go for a good quality beef mince that's higher in fat. Remember fat equals flavour! I use Angus steak mince with 12%-15% fat. You can get away with the really lean mince (5% fat or lower), but it won't be as rich and juicy.
 

Nutritional Information is per serving including spaghetti, but not including parmesan (I've no idea how much you're going to add :-D)

Nutritional Information

Calories: 561kcal | Carbohydrates: 73g | Protein: 37g | Fat: 11g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 70mg | Sodium: 953mg | Potassium: 1212mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 12g | Vitamin A: 2841IU | Vitamin C: 24mg | Calcium: 113mg | Iron: 7mg
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