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Spaghetti Bolognese is a classic Italian meat sauce that is a staple in most families. My super simple Spaghetti Bolognese is the perfect dinner for any night of the week and will wow your family or guests.
Spaghetti Bolognese is one of those recipes that takes me back to my 20’s. It was one of those dishes that my sister used to make all the time and I’d always stop over for dinner and we’d have a big bowl of Spaghetti Bolognese. I can even go as far as saying that it was her specialty. The odd thing is that we loved to serve it with feta cheese, not Parmesan. If it sounds strange to you, don’t knock it till you try it.
But since then I’ve obviously learned to make it by myself and it’s one of those dishes that really everyone loves, including my husband who hates pasta. Nobody ever says no to a good comforting bowl of spaghetti Bolognese.
What Is Spaghetti Bolognese
Spaghetti Bolognese is such a classy Italian dish with a meaty sauce and while I love to use ground beef for my sauce, you could combine beef and pork. You’ll also want to use a good dry red wine in the sauce, it will just give you a deeper rich flavor. If you don’t want to use alcohol, simply substitute it with a low sodium beef broth.
How To Make Bolognese Sauce
- Cook the meat: Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook for 3 minutes, breaking it as you go, until no longer pink.
- Add veggies, spices and wine: Add the onion and garlic and cook for another 3 minutes until the onion softens. Add the oregano, red pepper flakes, tomato paste and stir. Stir in the red wine and cook for about 5 minutes until most of the liquid has cooked off.
- In goes the crushed tomatoes: Add the crushed tomatoes, basil and season with salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a medium-low. Cover the pot and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Finish the sauce: Stir in the heavy cream and adjust for seasoning if needed. If your sauce is too thick add some of the pasta water to thin it out.
I love to add a little bit of heavy cream to my Bolognese sauce to make it a bit creamier. I really think it makes a huge difference. You can try this with feta cheese as my sister and I would have it, but if you’re not that brave, I strongly recommend using some good freshly grated Parmesan cheese and lots of fresh basil to finish it off.
If you love this hearty pasta dish, check out my Braised Beef Ragu Fettuccine.
It really is comfort in a bowl.
How To Serve
While this spaghetti bolognese can be served on its own, a nice crusty bread would be perfect. Simply slice it, drizzle it with some olive, some Parmesan cheese and lightly toast.
Serve this with a great simple salad such as greens mixed with olive oil and some balsamic vinegar.
More Delicious Pasta Recipes To Try:
- Aglio e Olio
- Italian Pasta Salad
- Pasta Alla Vodka
- Pesto Shrimp Asparagus Pasta
- Italian Shrimp Bake with Pasta
- Easy Chicken Alfredo Pasta Bake
- Bruschetta Pasta
- Greek Chicken Pasta
- 1 pound spaghetti (uncooked)
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound ground beef (extra lean)
- 1 large onion (chopped)
- 4 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 tablespoon oregano (dried)
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 cup red wine
- 28 ounce crushed tomatoes ((1 can))
- 2 tablespoon basil (chopped)
- ½ teaspoon salt (or to taste)
- ½ teaspoon pepper (or to taste)
- ¼ cup heavy cream
- ½ cup Parmesan cheese (grated)
- 2 tablespoon basil (chopped, for garnish)
- Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions. Keep the pasta water, in case needed for sauce.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet or pot over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and cook for 3 minutes, breaking it as you go, until no longer pink.
- Add the onion and garlic and cook for another 3 minutes until the onion softens.
- Add the oregano, red pepper flakes, tomato paste and stir. Stir in the red wine and cook for about 5 minutes until most of the liquid has cooked off.
- Add the crushed tomatoes, basil and season with salt and pepper. Stir and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a medium-low. Cover the pot and cook for about 20 minutes.
- Stir in the heavy cream and adjust for seasoning if needed. If your sauce is too thick add some of the pasta water to thin it out.
- Add the spaghetti to the pot and toss well with the sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese and basil. Serve immediately.
- What kind of red wine to use: The flavors in a wine will become more concentrated as they cook. Choose a medium-bodied, dry red wine such as a Pinot Noir, Merlot or Chianti.
- What to substitute red wine with: If you don’t want to use red wine substitute it with beef broth.
- Why use heavy cream: I added a bit of heavy cream just to make the sauce a bit creamier, but it can totally be skipped or replaced with pasta water.
- Nutrition: Nutritional information includes spaghetti. Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on products used.
Notice: Nutrition is auto-calculated for your convenience. Where relevant, we recommend using your own nutrition calculations.