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My Movember Menu: Spaghetti Bolognese recipe

The proper recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese (which I know doesn't really exist). I stole it from an Italian.

1y ago

So here we go, the full set for the first item on my Movember Menu. Spaghetti Bolognese. Or Ragù if we're going to split hairs.

Spaghetti Bolognese

The real ragù deal

Prep time30min
Cook time1h
Total time1h 30min


  • 500g Minced Beef (the leaner the better)
  • 250g Minced Pork
  • One Large Diced Carrot
  • One Large Diced Brown Onion
  • One stalk of finely chopped celery
  • 500g Passata
  • Dried Basil
  • Dried Oregano
  • 1 Bottle of Red Wine - Montepulciano works well, but anything red and winey goes.
  • Salt and Pepper
  • Olive Oil
  • 3 Cloves of Garlic
  • Enough Spaghetti for each diner



  1. Add some of the olive oil to a pan, and bring up to temperature to fry off veg.
  2. Finely chop the vegetables and add to the oiled pan, and place the lid over it. Stir occasionally. By keeping the lid on it traps any steam generated and helps to soften the carrots.
  3. Add two cloves of finely chopped garlic to the pan and stir.
  4. Once the onions are starting to glaze and go glassy you're ready for the next step.


  1. Add your minced meats to the pan and if needed add a little more oil to brown off the meat.
  2. Stir well to break the meat down and ensure it browns all over.
  3. Add in the passata to the meat and vegetables.
  4. Add in roughly 175ml of the red wine and save the rest for drinking.
  5. Stir well to mix the flavours, as well as to keep the meat moist.
  6. Add the final clove of garlic, finely chopped and mix.


  1. Add one heaped tablespoon of both the basil and the oregano.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Cooking the Bolognese; on the hob.

  1. On the hob, leave the sauce to cook through, on a medium heat. You're aiming to gently cook the meat through in the sauce. Stir occasionally.

Cooking the Bolognese; in a slow cooker.

  1. Once you've cooked the veg through, transfer it to the slow cooker and set to high. Once you've then browned off the meat and added the passata, wine, and seasoning, transfer that all over to the slow cooker.
  2. Once it is all in the slow cooker, leave for six to seven hours. Try and avoid the temptation to stir it as you'll release the steam from the pan and risk drying out the sauce.

Cooking the Spaghetti

  1. Boil up some water in a kettle, or bring some to boil on the hob.
  2. Salt it. You want it to noticeably salty, but not Dead Sea levels of salty.
  3. Once the water is boiling, introduce the pasta.
  4. Stir occasionally.
  5. Strain the pasta once it's cooked to taste. It should be al dente, just firm to the bite.

Dishing Up

  1. Take the strained spaghetti and plate it up. You want to properly strain the spaghetti, as wet pasta wont let a sauce stick to it.
  2. Once the spaghetti is on a plate, add sauce. As much as you want.
  3. Tuck in.
  4. Then add cheese if you want. Its poor Italian custom to adjust a dish before even tasting it, so try it and then stick a little parmesan on there.
  5. Enjoy with the rest of that wine.

Recipe Notes

You can add more vegetables to this, such as mushrooms, peppers and so on, but that rather ruins the dish, and detracts from its classic Italian roots.

Recipe by

Adapted by myself from a rough recipe given to me by my friend Fabio

Have you tried this recipe? Share your photos & thoughts in the comments below

And there we have it. A proper Italian recipe for a proper Italian dish. Although bolognese doesn't technically exist. It's ragù. Recipes for ragù will vary from region to region in Italy. Anyhow, that's an argument for a column at another time.

And of course, the video for this recipe is up on YouTube as well. Or just watch it at the bottom of this article!

How do you like to make your bolognese? Let me know in the comments.

If you've had a stab at this recipe, feel free to let me know how it worked on Twitter. I'm @DJJesseB.

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Comments (4)

  • Yes, they don't exist, but... Well done!

      1 year ago
  • OMG, Jesse! Please do embed your YouTube video at the top of your article. It will go great with the copy and the recipe. 😍

      1 year ago