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My Ultimate Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce

Spaghetti Bolognese is my ultimate comfort food classic – though it takes a while, results like these are worth it!

easy spaghetti bolognese recipe

Spaghetti bolognese or “spag bol” reminds so many of us of our childhoods.

For me, it’s sitting at the kitchen island, swinging my legs watching the Bold and The Beautiful in black and white on our bunny eared kitchen TV, while a pot of this simmered behind me.

This isn’t your 30 minutes or less kind of recipe, no no! This is the absolute authentic, “oh my soul this is the best I have ever had” real Italian deal. Yes someone has in-fact said these exact words. The Italians know their stuff, and to get this one right you are going to need some patience. Not to worry though, get it going, then turn the heat down and forget about it for a few hours. All you need to do is stir it from time to time. Making this in an Instant Pot will cut the cook time to just 30 minutes! I highly recommend making a double or triple batch of this, portioning it, and freezing it. I currently have no less than 4 Tupperwares stashed in the freezer just waiting for me to have a stressful day. This is the meal prep G.O.A.T. and it’s here to bloody shine people.

The Recipe

My recipe is a slight riff on the one my Aunty Becky learned from her Italian mother in law, during the time she lived in Italy. I have yet to meet a bolognese sauce that can touch hers. The riff part comes from some advice I got from an elderly lady on Volcano Island off Sicily, who sold me some of the best goats cheese I have ever eaten, coated in volcanic ash.

When her son translated my request to be shown the best pizza and pasta in town, she probed a bit before pointing me in the right direction and told me her secret was to add a splash of milk to her Bolognese. I’ve made it that way ever since. My aunt, the OG creator of this recipe, was very skeptical at the idea. However, when I filmed this over on The Culinary Cartel Instagram she rang me out the blue to apologise, saying milk is indeed a fantastic addition. In my past life as a private yacht chef, a freezer packed to the brim with bolognaise sauce was the one request every captain would leave me with before I departed for home.

The cook along for this recipe can be found on The Culinary Cartel Instagram on our story highlights or by clicking here. If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag your photo #theculinarycartel on Instagram so we can see what you come up with. Happy cooking!

easy spaghetti bolognese recipe
easy spaghetti bolognese recipe

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I serve this with?

Serve your Bolognese sauce with your favourite pasta or turn it into a lasagna. This sauce is also amazing stuffed into arancini also knows as risotto balls. You can find my favourite arancini recipe here 

Why is browning the meat so important?

Getting a deep golden brown colour on your mince is important for a rich and delicious final sauce. Get that mince nice and crispy for the best results

Why do you recommend a mix of pork and beef mince?

A mixture of both pork and beef mince will give a more complex flavour. However you can simply use beef if you avoid pork.

Can I use an Instant Pot?

Yes! You can use the slow cook or pressure cook function on the Instant Pot. Instructions can be found below in the recipe.

Can I use Beyond Meat?

We have tested this recipe using beyond meat and it worked well

Can I use chicken or turkey mince?

We have tested this recipe using chicken and turkey mince. Be sure to choose minced thigh meat if going in this direction as lean chicken mince can become dry.

 

Print
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easy spaghetti bolognese recipe

My Ultimate Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce


  • Author: Jess Bunn
  • Total Time: 3 Hours 10 Minutes
  • Yield: 4 - 6 Servings

Description

Spaghetti Bolognese is my ultimate comfort food classic – though it takes a while, results like these are worth it!


Ingredients

Units
  • 500g beef mince, (ideally grass-fed) or a mix of 200g pork mince and 300g beef mince
  • 1/2 cup onion
  • 1/2 cup celery
  • 1/2 cup carrot
  • 200ml milk
  • 200ml red wine (optional but advised – don’t worry all the alcohol will cook off)
  • 2 tins tomatoes
  • pinch nutmeg
  • olive oil, salt, pepper as needed

Instructions

  1. Peel and dice your carrots, onion and celery.
  2. Place a large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add a drizzle of olive oil and then fry your chopped vegetables until softened and slightly golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Next, remove your vegetables from the pot and set them aside until needed.
  5. Add another drizzle of olive oil to your pot then add your beef (and pork mince if using). Fry your beef and pork mince on high until deep golden brown, breaking it up into small mince crumbs with your wooden spoon. Don’t rush this step!
  6. Once the mince is deeply golden, add back in your vegetables. Add your milk and turn the heat to high, until the milk is reduced to almost nothing, add the wine and repeat the process.
  7. Once the liquids have all but evaporated, add in the tinned tomatoes. Swirl your tomato tins with water, and add this into the pot too. Set your heat to low and simmer the mixture for 3 hours, topping it up with water and stirring (from time to time) as you go to prevent sticking.
  8. Once ready season the Bolognese with salt and pepper. Serve with spaghetti and loads of really good parmesan.

Instant Pot:

  1. Peel and dice your carrots, onion and celery.
  2. Set your instant pot to saute on a medium high heat.
  3. Add a drizzle of olive oil and then fry your chopped vegetables until softened and slightly golden brown, about 8-10 minutes.
  4. Next, remove your vegetables from the pot and set them aside until needed.
  5. Add another drizzle of olive oil to your pot then add your beef (and pork mince if using). Increase the heat to high on your Instant Pot. Fry your beef and pork mince on high until deep golden brown, breaking it up into small mince crumbs with your wooden spoon. Don’t rush this step!
  6. Once the mince is deeply golden, add back in your vegetables. Add your milk and turn the heat to high, until the milk is reduced to almost nothing, add the wine and repeat the process.
  7. Once the liquids have all but evaporated, add in the tinned tomatoes. Swirl your tomato tins with water, and add this into the pot too.
  8. Pressure cook: Cancel the saute setting. Secure the pressure cooking lid and ensure the valve is set to sealing. Select pressure cook, and high pressure and set the timer to 20 minutes. Once cooked, perform a quick pressure release. Reduce the excess liquid on saute until the sauce becomes thick and a  has a deep rich colour.
  9. Slow cook: Cancel the saute setting and select slow cook. Cook the sauce on low for 8 hours, or on high for 3 hours.
  10. Once ready season the Bolognese with salt and pepper. Serve with your favourite pasta and loads of really good parmesan.

Happy Cooking x

Notes

Chef Notes: Browning is one of the most flavour producing reactions in cooking. The Maillard reaction is many small, simultaneous chemical reactions that occur when proteins and sugars in and on your food are transformed by heat and caramelisation to produce new flavours, aromas, and colours. On a practical level, the Maillard reaction makes food smell more enticing and taste more delicious. This step is one of the foundations for building the Ultimate Bolognese.

  • Prep Time: 10 Minutes
  • Cook Time: 3 hours
  • Category: Dips & Sauces
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 502.8kcal
  • Sugar: 13.22g
  • Sodium: 691.03mg
  • Fat: 30.85g
  • Saturated Fat: 11.03g
  • Unsaturated Fat: 15.45g
  • Trans Fat: 1.48g
  • Carbohydrates: 21.98g
  • Fiber: 4.8g
  • Protein: 26.9g
  • Cholesterol: 94.87mg

Keywords: My Ultimate Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce

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