Quick & Easy Spaghetti Bolognese. Whether you are new to cooking or have advanced skills, this simple version of an Italian classic meal can be home cooked from scratch and enjoyed by the whole family. This simple Pasta Bolognese is full of flavor and tastes like it’s been simmering all day long. Making a good bolognese sauce is a real labor of love. Sure, you could just add some ground beef to a tomato sauce and call it good, but there’s a certain irresistible silkiness and a deep, meaty flavor that can really only come from all-day cooking.
The origins of the dish are unclear, but it may have evolved in the context of early twentieth century emigration of southern Italians to the United States as a sort of fusion with local cuisines to produce a hybrid version of bolognese more influenced by the southern tomato-rich style of Neapolitan ragù.
Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 garlic cloves , minced
- 1 onion , finely chopped (brown, yellow or white)
- 1 lb / 500g ground beef (mince) or half pork, half beef
- 1/2 cup / 125 ml dry red wine (or sub with water or beef broth/stock)
- 2 beef bouillon cubes , crumbled
- 28 oz / 800g can crushed tomato (or tomato passata)
- 2 tbsp tomato paste / puree
- 2 – 3 tsp sugar
- 2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
- 2 dried bay leaves
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme (or 1/4 tsp dried thyme or 1/2 tsp dried oregano)
- Salt and pepper
- 400 g / 13 oz spaghetti
- Parmesan cheese
- Parsley or basil, finely chopped
Heat oil in a large pot or deep skillet over medium high heat. Add onion and garlic, cook for 5 minutes or until light golden and softened.
Turn heat up to high and add beef. Cook, breaking it up as your go, until browned.
Pour red wine. Bring to simmer and cook for 2 minutes, scraping the bottom of the pot, until the alcohol smell is gone.
Add remaining ingredients except salt and pepper. Stir, bring to a simmer then turn down to medium so it bubbles gently. Cook for 20-30 minutes, adding water if the sauce gets too thick for your taste. Stir occasionally.
Adjust salt and pepper to taste right at the end.
The flavors in a wine will become more concentrated as they cook. Choose a medium bodied, dry red wine such as a Merlot, Pinot Noir or Chianti. If you don’t want to use red wine substitute it with beef broth.
This family recipe makes enough to freeze any left overs for any emergency dinner situations, or enough for the next day. Just boil up some more pasta and you have a restaurant quality meal two days in a row. Nobody ever says no to a good comforting bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese.