How To Make: Spaghetti Bolognese


Prep time: 10 minutes

Cook time: 39 minutes


As a household we seem to eat less and less meat as time goes on, not through any conscious decision or financial constraint but through learning to use and enjoy vegetables, pulses and particularly fish. A few years ago, we were eating a meat-based meal 6-7 days a week; nowadays it’s maybe 1-2 meals a week and I really don’t miss it at all!

One meat-based meal we do still eat regularly is Bolognese. I’m not a huge meat lover anymore but I still enjoy this meal and it’s one of Kieran’s absolute favourite meals. The speed at which he can consume a plate of Spag Bol is really something special to watch, and while you’re sat back groaning and loosening your jeans, he can eat more!

Although the price of meat is rising with inflation, Bolognese is something you can still make fairly cheaply and you can batch cook it so you’ve got a portion or two in the freezer for a quick meal when you need it on a busy day! I also feel like its another one of those classic meals that everyone should be able to make.

Batch cooking is something that’s become very close to my heart. Meniere’s Disease is so unpredictable and can knock you for six with a nasty vertigo attack out of the blue on a day where you started off feeling ok, knocking your dinner plan out of the window at the same side. This means that it’s become very important to me to have backup plans and batch cooking is an excellent way to ensure you always have a backup plan so that if life (or Meniere’s) throws something unexpected at you, you have something quick and tasty that you can throw in the microwave or in a pan to heat up for a quick and nutritious meal. Bolognese (or my Dizzy Dieter Chilli Con Carne) are ideal candidates for batch cooking – just whip up a big pot of it, eat what you need, portion the rest out into lock and lock tubs and cool it down. When it’s cold, label the tubs up, pop them in the freezer and Bob’s your uncle!

Anyway, back to the actual recipe! Now, I’m not 100% sure how this would measure up against a traditional Bolognese recipe – for starters it doesn’t begin with a sofrito, so probably not massively traditional but hey, the end result tastes good and that’s what’s important to me! The pancetta adds a certain smokiness and depth to the flavour of the finished sauce – and if you can’t get pancetta, just use some bacon lardons for the same effect.

So please let me know what you think of my Bolognese recipe via the comments or by using the Contact Me form on the site. I’m also on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter so do feel free to tag me in your posts – I love hearing from you! Enjoy DDx!

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Spaghetti Bolognese

  • Author: Hazel
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x


Units Scale
  • 500 g beef mince
  • 100 g diced pancetta (or bacon lardons)
  • 100 ml red wine
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 yellow or red peppers, diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 2 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons tomato puree
  • 150 g mushrooms, sliced
  • A few basil leaves (or 1 teaspoon of dried basil)
  • 400 g spaghetti
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Olive oil


  1. Drizzle a tablespoon of olive in a large casserole pan and place over a low heat.
  2. Add the pancetta (or lardons) to the pan and fry until browned.
  3. Add the onions, pepper, mushroom and garlic and fry until the pepper starts to soften. Pour over the red wine and allow to simmer until the liquid has reduced by about half.
  4. In a separate frying pan, brown the mince. When browned add to the casserole pan.
  5. Cook the spaghetti according to the instructions.
  6. Add the tinned tomatoes, tomato puree, sugar, basil and some seasoning to the casserole pan and mix well.
  7. Bring up to the boil and then reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes until reduced and thick.
  8. Use tongs to transfer the spaghetti out of its pan and into the Bolognese (bringing just a little of its cooking water with it). Use the tongs to swizzle it around in the sauce until it is well coated.
  9. Serve with some freshly grated Parmesan and basil leaves.
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes

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