Classic Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

Spaghetti Bolognese
Prep. time:
40 min
6 dishes

Origin: Spaghetti Bolognese, also known simply as Bolognese or “Ragu alla Bolognese,” is a beloved Italian pasta dish that hails from the city of Bologna in Northern Italy. This rich and hearty sauce features a combination of ground meat, tomatoes, onions, carrots, celery, and aromatic herbs, simmered together to create a flavorful sauce that coats strands of al dente spaghetti. While there are many variations of Bolognese sauce, this classic recipe stays true to its authentic roots, offering a taste of traditional Italian comfort food.

Yield and Difficulty:

  • This recipe serves 4-6.
  • Difficulty Level: Medium

Ingredients for making Classic Spaghetti Bolognese

  • · 1 pound (450g) spaghetti
  • · 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • · 1 onion, finely chopped
  • · 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • · 1 carrot, finely diced
  • · 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • · 1 pound (450g) ground beef or a mixture of beef and pork
  • · 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • · 1 can (6 oz) tomato paste
  • · 1 cup beef broth
  • · 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • · 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • · 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • · Salt and pepper to taste
  • · Grated Parmesan cheese for serving
  • · Fresh basil or parsley for garnish

How to make Classic Spaghetti Bolognese - Step by step Instructions:

  1. Cook Spaghetti: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the spaghetti and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain the cooked spaghetti and set aside.
  2. Prepare Bolognese Sauce: In a large skillet or Dutch oven, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion, minced garlic, diced carrot, and diced celery. Sauté for 5-7 minutes until the vegetables are softened.
  3. Brown Meat: Add the ground beef (or beef and pork mixture) to the skillet. Cook, breaking it apart with a wooden spoon, until browned and cooked through.
  4. Add Tomatoes and Liquid: Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, and red wine (if using) to the skillet. Mix well to combine all ingredients.
  5. Season and Simmer: Add dried oregano, dried basil, salt, and pepper to the sauce. Bring the mixture to a simmer, then reduce the heat to low. Let the sauce simmer gently for 20-30 minutes, stirring occasionally, to allow the flavors to meld together and the sauce to thicken.
  6. Combine Sauce and Spaghetti: Add the cooked spaghetti to the skillet with the Bolognese sauce. Toss the spaghetti with the sauce until evenly coated.
  7. Serve: Transfer the spaghetti Bolognese to serving plates or bowls. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh basil or parsley. Serve hot and enjoy the classic flavors of this Italian comfort food.

Nutritional Advantages

  • Spaghetti Bolognese provides a balanced meal with carbohydrates from the pasta, protein from the ground meat, and vitamins and minerals from the vegetables.
  • Tomatoes are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, and lycopene, which may have health benefits such as reducing the risk of certain diseases.

Recipe Alternatives for Dietary Restrictions:

  • For a vegetarian option, omit the ground meat and use plant-based ground meat substitute or add extra vegetables such as mushrooms or lentils for texture and protein.
  • Use gluten-free spaghetti or other gluten-free pasta varieties to make the dish gluten-free.

Tips for Enhancing the Recipe

  • For a richer flavor, add a splash of heavy cream or whole milk to the sauce towards the end of cooking.
  • Experiment with different herbs and spices such as thyme, rosemary, or red pepper flakes to customize the flavor profile of the sauce.
  • Make a double batch of Bolognese sauce and freeze the extra portion for quick and easy meals on busy days. Just thaw and reheat the sauce while boiling fresh spaghetti for a convenient dinner option.

Experience the authentic flavors of Italy with our Classic Spaghetti Bolognese recipe. Made with savory ground beef, aromatic herbs, and a rich tomato sauce, this beloved dish is a comforting staple in kitchens around the world. Serve it over al dente spaghetti noodles and garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese for a satisfying meal that’s sure to please the whole family. With its hearty flavors and simple preparation, our Classic Spaghetti Bolognese is the perfect choice for any day of the week!

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