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Easy Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese is a classic Italian pasta dish loved around the world for its hearty and comforting flavors. Originating from the city of Bologna in Italy, this dish features al dente spaghetti noodles tossed in a savory meat sauce made with ground beef or pork, tomatoes, onions, garlic, carrots, celery, and a blend of herbs and spices.

The sauce is simmered slowly to develop rich flavors and a thick, luscious texture. Typically served topped with grated Parmesan cheese and fresh parsley, Spaghetti Bolognese is a timeless favorite that brings warmth and satisfaction to any mealtime.

Ingredients:

  • 8 ounces (225g) 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 pork
  • 1 can (14 ounces/400g) crushed tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • Fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Cook Spaghetti: Cook the spaghetti according to the package instructions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  2. Prepare Sauce: In a large skillet or saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add chopped onion, minced garlic, diced carrot, and diced celery. Cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Brown Meat: Add ground beef or pork to the skillet. Cook, breaking it apart with a spoon, until browned and cooked through, about 5-7 minutes.
  4. Add Tomatoes and Seasonings: Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, dried oregano, dried basil, and dried thyme. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a simmer.
  5. Simmer: Reduce heat to low and let the sauce simmer, uncovered, for about 1 hour, stirring occasionally. This allows the flavors to develop and the sauce to thicken.
  6. Serve: Serve the cooked spaghetti topped with the Bolognese sauce. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, if desired.
  7. Enjoy: Enjoy this classic Spaghetti Bolognese dish with family and friends!

This recipe makes 4 servings of Spaghetti Bolognese and requires approximately 15 minutes of preparation time and 1 hour 30 minutes of cooking time. Adjust the seasonings according to your taste preferences, and feel free to customize the dish with your favorite herbs and spices.

Tips for making Spaghetti Bolognese

Here are some tips to help you make a delicious Spaghetti Bolognese:

  • Use Quality Ingredients: Opt for high-quality ingredients, especially the meat and tomatoes, as they are the star ingredients of the dish. Fresh vegetables and herbs will also enhance the flavor.
  • Choose the Right Meat: Traditionally, Spaghetti Bolognese is made with ground beef, but you can also use ground pork, veal, or a combination for added flavor. Choose lean meat for a healthier option or use a combination of lean and fatty cuts for richness.
  • Build Flavor with Vegetables: Don’t skimp on the vegetables. Finely chop onions, carrots, and celery to create a flavorful base for the sauce. Cooking them until softened helps to release their natural sweetness and adds depth to the sauce.
  • Take Your Time: Let the sauce simmer low and slow for at least an hour to allow the flavors to develop and the sauce to thicken. This slow cooking process intensifies the flavors and creates a rich, hearty sauce.
  • Add Umami: Enhance the savory flavor of the sauce by adding ingredients like tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, or anchovies. These ingredients add depth and complexity to the sauce.
  • Season Well: Season the sauce generously with salt and pepper, but taste as you go and adjust the seasoning accordingly. Remember, you can always add more salt, but you can’t take it away.
  • Cook the Pasta Al Dente: Cook the spaghetti until it is just tender with a slight bite to it, known as al dente. Overcooked pasta can become mushy and won’t hold the sauce as well.
  • Save Pasta Water: Before draining the pasta, reserve a cup of the cooking water. The starchy water can be added to the sauce to thin it out and help it adhere better to the pasta.
  • Mix Pasta and Sauce Together: Once the pasta is cooked, toss it in the sauce instead of simply ladling the sauce on top. This ensures that every strand of pasta is coated evenly with the delicious sauce.
  • Garnish with Fresh Herbs and Cheese: Finish off your Spaghetti Bolognese with a sprinkle of freshly grated Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley for a burst of freshness and flavor.

By following these tips, you’ll be well on your way to making a mouthwatering Spaghetti Bolognese that will impress family and friends alike!

Some suggestions about ingredients​ for Spaghetti Bolognese

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