Authentic Italian Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

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About Spaghetti Bolognese

Elevate your home cooking with this classic Italian recipe—a comforting dish called (Ragù alla) Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe. One of the most iconic and widely loved Italian recipes is Spaghetti Bolognese, also known as Ragu alla Bolognese. Here’s a simple recipe for you to try.

Gallery Of Spaghetti Bolognese


  • 1 lb (450g) ground beef
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 carrots, finely chopped
  • 2 celery stalks, finely chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 can (14 oz) crushed tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup red wine (optional)
  • 1 cup beef broth
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1 lb (450g) spaghetti
  • Grated Parmesan cheese for serving


1/ Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery. Sauté until the vegetables are softened.

2/ Add minced garlic and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes until fragrant.

3/ Add ground beef to the pot and cook until browned. Break the meat apart with a spoon to ensure it cooks evenly.

4/ Pour in the wine (if using) and let it simmer until it’s mostly evaporated.

5/ Stir in crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, beef broth, oregano, basil, nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Bring the mixture to a simmer.

6/ Reduce heat to low, cover the pot, and let it simmer for at least 1 hour, stirring occasionally. The longer it simmers, the richer the flavor will be.

7/ About 10 minutes before serving, add the milk to the sauce and stir well.

8/ Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain the pasta.

9/ Serve the Bolognese sauce over the cooked spaghetti. Garnish with grated Parmesan cheese.

Enjoy your delicious Spaghetti Bolognese, a classic Italian favorite!

Tips and Tricks to Enhance Your Spaghetti Bolognese


Use a Mix of Ground Meats: Combine ground beef with pork or veal for a more complex and flavorful sauce.

Slow Cooking: Let the sauce simmer on low heat for an extended period (at least an hour) to allow the flavors to meld and intensify.

Quality Ingredients: Opt for high-quality crushed tomatoes, fresh herbs, and good-quality Parmesan cheese for an authentic taste.

Wine Addition: Adding red wine to the sauce can enhance the depth of flavor, but it’s optional. Make sure to let it simmer to evaporate the alcohol.

Mirepoix Base: The combination of onions, carrots, and celery (known as mirepoix) adds a sweet and savory base to the sauce.

Fresh Herbs: If possible, use fresh oregano and basil for a burst of herbal freshness. Add them towards the end of cooking to preserve their flavors.

Milk Magic: Don’t skip the addition of milk; it adds creaminess and balances the acidity of the tomatoes.

Grated Nutmeg: A pinch of freshly grated nutmeg can elevate the flavor profile, but use it sparingly.

Cooking Pasta Al Dente: Cook the spaghetti al dente (firm to the bite) for the best texture. Follow the package instructions but taste a minute or two before the suggested time.

Save Pasta Water: Before draining the pasta, save a cup of the cooking water. It can be used to adjust the consistency of the sauce when combined with the pasta.

Proper Tossing: Toss the cooked pasta with the sauce in the pan for better integration of flavors.

Garnish with Fresh Parmesan: Finish the dish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese for that extra layer of richness.

Make Ahead: Bolognese sauce often tastes better the next day. Consider making it ahead and reheating for an even more robust flavor.

Experiment with Pasta Shapes: While spaghetti is classic, feel free to experiment with different pasta shapes to suit your preference.

Portion and Freeze: Bolognese freezes well.

Nutition Facts


The nutritional values of Spaghetti Bolognese can vary based on specific ingredients and portion sizes. Here’s a general breakdown for a serving of the Bolognese sauce (not including the pasta or additional toppings).

Nutrition Facts for 1 serving (approximately 1 cup) of Bolognese Sauce:

  • Calories: 250-300 kcal
  • Protein: 20-25g
  • Fat: 15-20g
    • Saturated Fat: 5-8g
    • Monounsaturated Fat: 6-8g
    • Polyunsaturated Fat: 1-2g
  • Carbohydrates: 8-12g
    • Fiber: 2-3g
    • Sugars: 4-6g
  • Cholesterol: 50-70mg
  • Sodium: 500-700mg

Please note that these values are approximate and can vary based on factors such as the specific ingredients used, cooking methods, and serving sizes. Additionally, the nutritional content will change when combined with pasta and other accompaniments. If you have specific dietary concerns or requirements, it’s advisable to calculate the nutritional information based on the exact ingredients and quantities you use.

FAQs About Spaghetti Bolognese


Q1: What is Spaghetti Bolognese?

Spaghetti Bolognese, or Ragù alla Bolognese, is a classic Italian pasta dish featuring a rich meat sauce typically made with ground beef, onions, carrots, celery, tomatoes, and various herbs.

Q2: Can I use ground turkey or chicken instead of beef?

Yes, you can substitute ground turkey or chicken for beef if you prefer a lighter option. The flavor may vary slightly, but it can still be delicious.

Q3: Is it necessary to use red wine in the recipe?

No, the red wine is optional. While it adds depth to the flavor, you can omit it or substitute it with beef broth if desired.

Q4: Can I make the sauce ahead of time?

Absolutely! The flavors often develop even more if the sauce is made ahead and allowed to sit in the refrigerator. Reheat it when ready to serve.

Q5: How long should I simmer the sauce?

For the best flavor, simmer the sauce on low heat for at least an hour. However, longer simmering, even up to several hours, can enhance the taste.

Q6: Can I freeze Spaghetti Bolognese?

Yes, Bolognese sauce freezes well. Store it in airtight containers or freezer bags for up to three months.

Q7: What pasta shapes can I use instead of spaghetti?

While spaghetti is traditional, feel free to use other pasta shapes like fettuccine, tagliatelle, or pappardelle.

Q8: Is it necessary to use whole milk?

Whole milk adds creaminess and balances acidity, but you can use low-fat milk if you prefer a lighter option.

Q9: Can I make it vegetarian?

Absolutely! Consider substituting the meat with plant-based alternatives like lentils, mushrooms, or textured vegetable protein (TVP).

Q10: What’s the best way to reheat leftovers?

Reheat the sauce gently on the stovetop over low heat, adding a splash of water or broth to maintain consistency. Be cautious not to overcook the pasta when reheating.

Feel free to adjust the recipe based on your preferences and dietary choices!

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