Sep 12, 2013
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This might be the best spaghetti bolognese recipe you’ll ever make. This classic meal will impress your guests or satisfy a hungry family. Either way, it’s a winner.
Easy Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe
When I travel a lot, go out of town, or have very busy weeks at work; I crave family sized meals that will feed my picky eaters but also yield leftovers. If you don’t know this about me by now… I am quite the lunch aficionado.
One of the reasons I plan dinner is so that I can have the ingredients on hand to make totally awesome lunches. I love lunch.
Of course, this isn’t a “lunch” recipe… It’s dinner. But I sure love taking that one serving of leftover spaghetti bolognese in my thermos to work the next day!
I love this recipe because it’s easy to put together, I have most of the ingredients in my pantry, and my entire family loves it. One meal for everyone, where I don’t get any complaints!
It might seem like the recipe itself has a lot of ingredients… but most are seasonings. You’ll need a little wine for the recipe, so either feel free to pop open a bottle and have a glass while you cook… or use that half a glass leftover from a dinner party. The wine builds the body of the recipe and it cooks off -so it’s totally safe for the kids to eat.
My youngest, loves this sauce so much that he waited for me to go inside to get a spoon to help himself to the bowl! So much for photographing the food intact. It ended up being all about him and the happiness he feels around good food.
This bolognese recipe is the real deal. It reminds me of when I visited Italy in ’95 for the first time. The woman who managed the house my school rented for our ski trip (I was living in Germany at the time) made what I thought was the best spaghetti sauce ever. This is as close as it gets.
Unlike some of the other amazing family dinner recipes, this isn’t a quick 30 minute meal. I suggest you cook this on a weekend while you prep your food for the week and are in-and-out of the kitchen.
Don’t be afraid of adding the cinnamon and nutmeg (if you have them) the amount is so small but it gives them that “secret ingredient” taste that tells you “this is the real deal”. If you must omit the wine, know that the sauce will be fantastic but missing “something”.
Make this once and try it out. I guarantee you wish you had doubled the recipe. Well, at least I know you’ll do that “next time”.
Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe
For the sauce:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 strips of bacon diced
- 1 large onion chopped
- 2 large carrots peeled and chopped
- 1 stalk celery chopped
- 2 cloves garlic
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 2 leaves bay
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 pound ground beef
- ½ pound Italian sausage removed from casings or ground
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- ½ cup red wine
- 28 oz crushed tomatoes (2 14oz cans)
- 14 oz can petite diced tomatoes
- 1 cup stock whatever you have on hand, if not water
- 2 teaspoons sugar
- ¼ cup heavy cream half & half, or whole milk
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
- 1 pound spaghetti
- 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan
- In a large pot, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the chopped bacon and cook, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Do not drain.
- Add the onions, carrots and celery and cook, stirring, until tender, about 5-7 minutes. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, cinnamon, and nutmeg and cook, stirring, for 30 seconds.
- Add the beef and sausages, and cook, stirring, until no longer pink, for another 5 minutes. Add the tomato paste, stir to incorporate. Add the wine and mix in well to deglaze any “bits” that might be at the bottom of the pan. Continue to cook for about 3 minutes until most of the wine liquid has evaporated and a thick sauce remains.
- Add the canned tomatoes, broth, and sugar and bring to a boil.
- Reduce the heat to medium-low and let it simmer while you go about your business for about an hour to an hour and a half (yes, that long). Make sure you come back every fifteen minutes or so to stir so that nothing is stuck at the bottom of the pot (this is one of the reasons I love a good enamel coated cast iron pot).
- While you cook the pasta (or in the final 15 minutes), add the cream, butter, and parsley, stir well, and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and cover to keep warm until ready to serve.
- Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
- You can add the pasta to the sauce and toss it around to coat, along with ½ cup of parmesan cheese and reserve other half to top once plated.
- If you’ve doubled this recipe (I warned you in the post you might want to do that) you’ll want to plate the pasta, top each plate with sauce and Parmesan cheese.
- Allow sauce to cool completely before freezing or storing.
What a fab recipe… so easy and bloody delicious! … and i am really sceptical about online recipes… this was super!
Absolutely fabulous spaghetti bolanase.A wee bit of work but well worth it.
I’m so glad! This is our go-to recipe as well.
i love it
What green knife are you using in the cooking videos?? Can’t wait to try recipe
Oh man… I don’t know! one we have on the set (it’s old)
Have not even eaten this yet, and the kids are circling! Very close to the recipe that goes with my age-old Bon Appetit lasagna, but, as you said, with the secret ingredients (I put cinnamon and chocolate in my chili, so, yeah–added those with no issue ).
I’m so glad everyone is waiting for their own serving! I hope it was as much a success at your house as it is at ours.
I just can’t wait to make this recipe! My husband literally walked in the door with boxes and boxes of venison from his hunting trip. Do you think I could use ground venison instead of beef?
This recipe is absolutely DELICIOUS with venison!! Please bring some over! 🙂
I found this recipe this morning and made this for dinner tonight! I took your advice and doubled the recipe and I am SO happy that I did! A bonus, my picky 22 month old devoured two servings!!! My husband isn’t a wine drinker and said he could taste the wine (I didn’t notice it), so next time I will use half the wine. We have tons to freeze!!! Overall, delicious!!!
So glad your family liked it! –especially your 22month old!Success!! Yes, the wine is optional and for those who are not wine drinkers at all… some might be able to taste it. If you brought the sauce up to a boil, the alcohol would have cooked off and left the sauce with a rich flavor. Of course, it’s totally optional for next time. OH, and the extra wine you have from the bottle… if you didn’t drink it… you can freeze it in 1/2 cup servings for next time! 🙂
If you don’t want to add the wine, do I need to add some other liquid?
Lori, add some water or stock/broth. 🙂
This was a huge hit for my family!! My kids who always try to “eat around” the sauce because they just want the noodles, loved this and asked for seconds, then my youngest asked if I could just pack the sauce for her lunch the next day! Thank you!
I am a terrible cook and this was my second big hit from Superglue Mom & Momables. The whole family loved it. Thanks, Laura! Personally I’m not a huge fan of italian sausage so next time I think I’ll do 1/4 lb and up the ground beef.
If you are not a fan of italian sausage you can add a little bit more ground beef for sure. Thank you Casey for letting everyone know how much you loved the recipe!
Lots of work, but I know it will be worth it. Thank you so much. Your family is precious, Thanks for all the cute pictures.
Thank you Liz! it’s delish!
Jane @ Handiworking
Definitely going to try this. It sounds delish, but I have to say the little guy SOLD IT! That first photo of him with the strand of spaghetti hanging all the way to the bowl is priceless!
I have made this recipe numerous times throughout the years. I love it so much. The only thing that changes is the wine. I have tried different wines and the best is burgundy wine from Carlo Rossi. It’s cheap and for some reason really does something to the sauce. I have a big jug I use just for this recipe 🙂
I hate to admit it but I also use the cheapest wine for this recipe. Good wine, cheap wine, it doesn’t alter the taste. You’re right! Thank you for making this recipe, Anna!
Gerry @ Foodness Gracious
Fantastic! This is a proven winner in our house and I always add wine, oregano, and maybe some fresh basil at the end. Great shots of the little guy, it’s so cool getting the kids involved as they just roll with it and the best pictures are always sure to follow!