How To Make Perfect Spaghetti Bolognese – Recipe

spaghetti bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese is a classic Italian pasta dish. It has long, thin strands of spaghetti noodles dipped in a rich sauce known as Bolognese sauce. The sauce typically contains a combination of ground meat (such as beef, veal, or pork), tomatoes, onions, garlic, herbs, and sometimes vegetables like carrots and celery. It is a beloved comfort food originating from Bologna in northern Italy.

The dish is often referred to as “Spag Bol”.

Read the article below to learn the full recipe and how to perfectly cook spaghetti bolognese for your loved ones.

Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe


  • 350 grams (12 ounces) spaghetti pasta
  • 400 grams (14 ounces) ground beef (or a mixture of beef and pork)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 400 grams (14 ounces) canned crushed tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup (120 ml) red wine
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • Fresh basil leaves, for garnish (optional)

Things to Consider

pasta with bolognese sauce

  • Use traditional pasta made from durum wheat semolina.
  • You can use any of the fresh tomatoes, tomato paste, or canned tomatoes to create the sauce.
  • Onions, garlic, and sometimes carrots and celery are sautéed for rich flavour. These ingredients also bring aroma to the dish.
  • Commonly used herbs include basil, oregano, and thyme.
  • A splash of red wine can add complexity to the sauce.
  • Use Olive Oil for sautéing and flavour enhancement. Sprinkle Grated Parmesan cheese on top for serving.

Step By Step Recipe

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  • Add the spaghetti and cook until done. Follow the package instructions.
  • Drain the pasta and set aside.
  • In a large skillet or saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat.
  • Add diced onions and garlic. Cook until soft and fragrant.
  • Add ground meat to the skillet, breaking it up with a wooden spoon. Cook until browned and no longer remains pink.
  • Stir in tomato paste and canned tomatoes. Season with salt, pepper, and herbs such as basil, oregano, and thyme.
  • Pour in a splash of red wine for flavour.
  • Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for at least 30 minutes. This allows the flavours to blend.
  • Stir occasionally. While the sauce simmers, cook the spaghetti until fully done.
  • Once the sauce has thickened to your liking, toss the cooked spaghetti in the sauce until well coated.
  • Plate the spaghetti bolognese and garnish with grated Parmesan cheese. Optionally, sprinkle with red pepper flakes for a bit of heat.

How To Bring Variation In Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe?

  • You can substitute the meat with lentils, mushrooms, or textured vegetable protein (TVP) for a vegetarian version.
  • Use gluten-free spaghetti or other gluten-free pasta alternatives.
  • Switch to lean ground meat or turkey, and increase the ratio of vegetables to meat for a lighter version.
  • Add heavy cream or milk to the sauce for a creamier texture.

Difference Between Bolognese and Spaghetti

  • Bolognese refers to the meat-based sauce, whereas spaghetti refers to the type of pasta used in the dish.
  • Bolognese sauce is made with ingredients like ground meat, tomatoes, onions, garlic, and herbs, while spaghetti is the long, thin pasta noodles typically used to serve the sauce.

How Can You Make Spaghetti Bolognese Taste Better?

Several factors contribute to making spaghetti Bolognese taste better:

  • Use fresh, high-quality ingredients. These can significantly enhance the flavour of the dish.
  • Seasoning the sauce with the right balance of salt, pepper, and herbs ensures that the flavours are well-rounded and harmonious.
  • Allowing the Bolognese sauce to simmer for an extended period helps develop a depth of flavour and allows the ingredients to meld together.
  • Playing with additional ingredients like red wine, Worcestershire sauce, or beef broth can add complexity and depth to the sauce.
  • Add finely grated carrots or celery to the sauce to enhance its texture and add sweetness and depth.

yummy spaghetti bolognese pasta

What Are Ingredients of Bolognese Sauce?

  • Ground meat (such as beef, veal, or pork)
  • Tomatoes (fresh, paste, or canned)
  • Aromatics (onions, garlic, carrots, celery)
  • Herbs and spices (basil, oregano, thyme, bay leaves, red pepper flakes)
  • Red wine
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Additionally, You Can Use

  • A mixture of finely diced onions, carrots, and celery, known as mirepoix. It forms the flavour base of many Bolognese sauces.
  • While fresh tomatoes can be used, To thicken the sauce you can use tomato paste or canned tomatoes too.
  • Adding a small amount of beef or chicken broth or stock can enhance the meaty flavour of the sauce.
  • Some traditional Bolognese recipes include a small amount of milk or cream, which helps neutralize the acidity of the tomatoes.
  • Simmering a piece of Parmesan rind in the sauce can infuse it with a subtle umami flavour and richness. Remove the rind before serving.
  • Adding bay leaves to the sauce while it simmers can impart a subtle herbal flavour and enhance the overall aroma.
  • Bolognese sauce is typically cooked low and slow, allowing the flavours to develop and intensify over time. It’s important to simmer the sauce gently to prevent burning and to achieve the desired consistency.
  • Taste the sauce as it cooks and adjust the seasoning as needed. 


italian pasta with bolognese sauce

What Is the Country of Origin of Spaghetti Bolognese?

Spaghetti Bolognese is associated with Italian cuisine, particularly from the region of Emilia-Romagna in northern Italy, where the city of Bologna is located. While variations of meat sauces served with pasta have existed in Italy for centuries, the specific combination of spaghetti pasta and Bolognese sauce as we know it today gained popularity internationally and is enjoyed worldwide.

In the end,

You can find the perfect Spaghetti Bolognese at our Fresh Elements restaurant. Come and Enjoy!

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