Spaghetti Bolognese is a classic pasta dish and a real favourite with all the family. Bolognese is a sauce that develops a deep rich flavour from simple ingredients by slow cooking. We have a great recipe here for an authentic Italian version.

Spaghetti Bolognese History

Bolognese sauce is an Italian full-bodied meat sauce or ragu for pasta which comes from Bologna in Northern Italy. The first mention for a meat based pasta sauce  described as “Bolognese” appeared in Pellegrino Artusi’s cookbook of 1891. Typically ragu is served on thicker pasta, as larger or ribbed pasta shapes hold the meat much better than thin or rounded pastas.

As with many longstanding recipes there are numerous competing versions all with claims to being the most authentic. Equally there are many contemporary variations that will not find favour with the purists. The recipe below is a traditional version that is very tasty and easy to make.

Ingredients here are to serve four people. Preparation takes about 15 minutes and cooking time is 1 hour.

Ingredients for Spaghetti Bolognese – Ragu

500g lean minced Beef from Morley Butchers
500g lean minced Pork from Morley Butchers
2 carrots grated
2 sticks of celery finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves finely chopped
1 large glass of red wine
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato concentrate
2 bay leaves
1 tsp Dried oregano
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Cooking Method For Spaghetti Bolognese

First add some oil  to a pan and fry your mince in small batches on a higher heat to get some browning which will add greatly to the final flavour. While cooking stir the mince to break down any larger chunks. Put to one side. Some other “authentic” versions will also add about 5 rashers of streaky bacon (finely chopped) for frying at this point.

Next soften carrots, celery and onion, if using the same pan allow it to cool first to avoid any burning. After about 10 – 15 minutes they should be reduced in size and translucent. Add the finely chopped garlic and fry for another two minutes.

Return the mince along with any juices to the pan and stir in. Now add the concentrated and chopped tomato, glass of red wine along with the oregano, bay leaves and pepper. Top up the pan with water or stock to ensure all the contents are covered.

Simmer slowly on the hob (or in the oven) with a lid on. Check regularly and top up the liquid if needed. It will take about one hour however it will become richer, smoother and more flavoursome if you cook for longer. You can make this dish several days in advance it will also keep well in your freezer.

Serve with your favourite pasta and some parmesan cheese grated on top.