How to make spaghetti bolognese

Who hasn’t searched for ‘how to make spaghetti bolognese’?! Trouble is, loads of recipes seem to say it takes a couple of hours to make a good spag bol, but nobody has that amount of time on their hands on a weeknight, do they? This is the best spaghetti bolognese recipe that you can knock up with a minimum of fuss. I usually bung mine in the oven while I get on with other jobs, like writing the world’s best healthy eating plans :-)

And “how to eat spaghetti” is another question. Well, stick your fork into the spaghetti, prongs straight down, then just firmly twizzle. The trick is not to try and twizzle too much at once, unless you’re eating alone, or the romance has gone from your relationship, and you don’t mind being covered in tomatoey sauce! If romance is still alive well then suck a single strand, each from a different end, and meet in the middle with a tomatoey snog. Shhluurrrp.
  • Serves
  • Prep
    15 mins
  • Cook
    30 mins
  • Difficulty
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 1 large green pepper, chopped small (some people use finely diced carrot instead)
  • 250g chestnut or closed-cup mushrooms, sliced
  • 500g organic beef mince, grass fed if you can get it. Or use half beef, half pork mince.
  • 4 rashers streaky organic free range bacon, chopped. Or use good pancetta.
  • 1 tin of plum tomatoes
  • 150g tomato puree
  • pinch of sugar
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp of dried mixed herbs (I like mine v herby!)
  • 150ml red wine (optional)
  • olive oil for frying
  • grated fresh Parmesan cheese to serve
In a large heavy, deep-sided pan, fry the onion and garlic gently in a large glug of olive oil.

Add the bacon and fry until slightly brown. At this stage you can add the wine if using it and cook until it has evaporated.

Add the pepper and mushrooms and cook until slightly softened.

Add and brown the mince over a fairly high heat, stirring.

Add all the other ingredients and give it a good mix. You can now continue to cook it on the hob for 25 mins, or place it, with a lid on, in a medium oven (about 180 deg) for 30-40 mins. It’s actually better slow cooked if you do happen to have time, in which case put it in the oven in a lidded cast iron pot, on a low to medium heat for about 75-90 mins.

Serve with wholemeal spaghetti and plenty of freshly grated parmesan and black pepper, and a green salad. Around 60g of spaghetti, dry weight, for women and children and 100g for men or hard exercisers.

Listen though, if you don’t eat pasta that often, white spaghetti is not going to kill you by any means, and is more authentic.
Nutrition info
Beef is a good source of vitamin B12, which is key for red blood cell production (tuna, salmon and sardines are actually many times higher in B12 though!). It's also rich in vitamin B3, which helps to convert food into energy, incidentally mushrooms are also high in B3 and included in this recipe. Adding some vegetables raises the fibre and nutrient profile.

Mushrooms also provide vitamin B2 which assists in the metabolisation of iron, as well as copper which is essential for healthy tissues, particularly bones and blood vessels.

Cooked tomatoes provide lycopene, which again is very good for bone health. They also assist with blood platelet distribution, preventing platelets from sticking together.

fitnaturally recommends red meat up to twice a week, making way for lots of fantastic, healthy vegetables, and other protein sources.

Easy spaghetti bolognese, who knew it had so much going for it!
Make every day this delicious, get a weekly eatnaturally plan!
Everything you see I owe to spaghetti.
Sophia Loren
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