Classic Bolognese

Made with authentic ingredients this classic bolognese sauce, known in Italian as ragù alla bolognese, is rich and hearty with wonderful depth of flavour and is a great base for many other dishes. Bon Appétit.



4 -6

Preparation time

15 mins

Cooking time

60 mins


  • classic bolognese sauce
  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium brown onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1kg beef mince
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 x 400g cans crushed tomatoes
  • 2 cups (500ml) low salt beef stock
  • 1 cup red wine or water
  • 1 level teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons fresh oregano, chopped or 3 teaspoons dried oregano
  • 3 tablespoons flat leafed parsley
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme or 2 teaspoons dried thyme
  • sea salt and cracked black pepper
  • 400g spaghetti or pasta of your choice
  • extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
  •  to serve
  • flat leaf parsley leaves
  • shaved parmesan

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  1. Use a large deep sauté or large frying pan over medium heat. Add the oil and onion then cook for 6-8 minutes or until the onion starts to soften and change colour.
  2. Add the garlic and cook for a few more seconds until it becomes fragrant. Turn the heat to medium high add the mince and cook for 6-7 minutes, until it starts to brown (the colour adds flavour), breaking up any lumps with a wooden spoon.
  3. Add the tomato paste and cook for a few seconds stirring all the time, followed by the water or wine, tomatoes, stock, bay leaf, herbs and the finally the sugar, stir to combine.
  4. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer uncovered stirring occasionally for at least 1 hour or until thick and glossy. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  5. Cook the pasta following the manufactures instructions for al dente. Drain and drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
  6. Serve the pasta in one big bowl for sharing, topped with the Bolognese sauce, parsley and shaved parmesan. Serve with crusty bread and a mixed salad. 

Serves 4-6

Tip: Always make at least double quantities of the bolognese sauce and freeze for later. It freezes well and is perfect for quick midweek meals when you are time poor. Also try this recipe using a 50/50 mix of beef or veal and pork mince.

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