Learn how to make easy spaghetti bolognese sauce with my step by step guide. Sweet, sour, salty, and meaty sauce is combined with al dente pasta and served with some freshly grated Parmesan! Delicious and easy meal you can make even during a busy day. Definitely a must try!
Secrets to the Best Bolognese Sauce
– Fresh ingredients.
– Meat is made soft and juicy by simmering in wine, milk, and broth.
– The sauce gains natural sweetness and flavor depth from the carrot, celery, and onion base.
– The fat from pork allows for a richer sauce.
What Goes into Spaghetti Bolognese?
Meat – I use half pork, half beef and find that this combination allows for a deeper flavor and a balanced fat content.
Veggie base – carrots, celery, and onions are a traditional base for soups and bolognese sauce. Carrots add that sweetness to your sauce that takes the bolognese sauce to the next level!
Wine – some people will use red wine, but I prefer using white wine like, for example, Sauvignon Blanc.
Milk – generally it is best to use 2.8% (or higher fat content) milk. This ingredient allow the meat to soften, so you really don’t want to skip this step unless you are making a dairy free bolognese! In which case you can use plant based milk.
Broth – you can use any broth or stock for spaghetti bolognese. Chicken broth, beef bone broth, or even a bullion cube broth – all work great!
Tomato paste & puree – you can use canned tomatoes, tomato paste, and/or tomato puree. Feel free to use fresh tomatoes if you like, but you will need to cook them down and blend before adding to the meat!
Seasoning & Spices – the staple flavors for traditional bolognese sauce come from basil, oregano, bay leaf, salt and pepper. You can add cayenne pepper for some spicy notes as well!
Ingredients for Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce
– 1 kg ground meat (half pork, half beef).
– 1 cup wine
– 1 cup milk
– 1 cup broth (I used bullion broth)
– 2 medium carrots
– 2 celery sticks
– 1 medium onion
– 1 can of tomato paste (about 170 grams)
– 500 ml tomato puree
– 3-4 garlic cloves
– 1 tsp dried oregano
– 1 tsp dried basil
– 3 bay leaves
– salt and pepper to taste
Watch How to Make Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce!
Step by Step Recipe
Step 1 – prep the veggies
Peel your veggies and chop them up into small pieces. Add the onion to a preheated pan with some oil and fry for a few minutes, then add celery and carrot. Fry until the veggies become softer and slightly brown.
Step 2 – brown the meat
Add the ground meat to the pan and continuously stir to break up the meat and prevent lumps from forming. Wait until the meat browns completely and you don’t see any more pink bits. Salt your food as you go as it will bring out the flavors in the best way.
Step 3 – add the wine
Pour 1 cup of wine to the pan with meat and veggies and simmer on medium-high heat until almost all wine has evaporated (about 10 minutes).
Step 4 – add the milk
After the wine has almost completely evaporated, add the milk. Continue simmering for another 10 minutes until the milk evaporates as well.
Step 4 – add the broth
Now add the broth and let the meat simmer until the broth evaporates, about 10 minutes.
Step 5 – add the tomato products
The last step is adding all of your tomato products! Add the tomato paste and puree, stir, add all of the spices and seasonings along with chopped garlic. Cover with a lid and simmer for 30-40 minutes. Taste your sauce at the end and season to taste! If you would like a thicker sauce, then you might need to simmer the sauce with the lid off so that the steam escapes and the liquids evaporate.
Step 6 – serve and enjoy!
Boil your spaghetti in salty water for 10-11 minutes. Use gluten free spaghetti if you are gluten intolerant! You can whether cook the pasta completely and mix with the sauce after, or boil your pasta for 8-9 minutes until al dente and finish cooking it in the bolognese sauce. The second option allows for riches pasta and the spaghetti gets a chance to absorb some of the sauce as finishes cooking.
Tips and Tricks for Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce
– Serve with freshly grated Parmesan, Grana Padano, or Pecorino cheese!
– Make your spaghetti al dente and finish cooking in the bolognese sauce so that the pasta absorbs the flavors as it finishes cooking.
– Don’t omit ingredients. All of the ingredients used in this recipe are necessary for the traditional Italian bolognese sauce!
– Don’t get hung up on choosing the type of wine to use. Some chefs prefer it with red wine, while others use dry white wine only. Try it both ways and see what you like best!
– Make a large amount of this sauce and freeze for later use!
– You can use old wine for this recipe as well (sometimes my wine would sit in the fridge for a month and the sauce still turned out delicious!).
– Use almond milk to make dairy free bolognese sauce.
– Use gluten free pasta to make gluten free bolognese sauce.
Frequently Asked Questions
What to Serve with Spaghetti Bolognese?
Serve your traditional bolognese pasta with some garlic bread or a fresh salad with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, and some vinegar on top!
How Long Should You Simmer Bolognese for?
Some people will say you need to simmer it for 3-5 hours, while others will say 40 minutes is enough. The truth is the longer you simmer your bolognese sauce, the better it will be, and the more liquids will evaporate thus thickening the sauce. However, if you are tight on time, you can stop simmering after 30 minutes and still serve delicious spaghetti bolognese to your family!
Why Does Restaurant Bolognese Taste Better?
Restaurant bolognese finishes cooking the pasta in the sauce and uses freshly grated cheese. It is also important to use good quality ingredients as well as giving time to your sauce to simmer and develop the flavors.
Can You Make Bolognese with Chopped Tomatoes?
You can, yet you will need to roast or cook your tomatoes down first, then blend into a puree.
Can I Freeze Cooked Pasta?
You can! Make sure you don’t cook your pasta all the way as it will become mushy when you defrost.
Can I Make Spaghetti Bolognese Vegetarian?
You can use Quorn mince instead of meat in order to make vegetarian spaghetti bolognese!
What Pasta Goes with Bolognese?
Tagliatelle and spaghetti. You can also serve bolognese sauce with penne pasta.
What is Missing from My Bolognese?
What meat are you using? Try using half ground beef and half ground Italian sausage. I really like pork and beef mix. Are you skipping the wine? Add some dry white wine to your sauce and see if it makes it better! Are you adding the milk? Milk will make your meat softer and add to the overall flavor of the meal.
Are you adding the broth? It doesn’t matter if you use a bullion cube or good quality bone broth, it only matters that you use it! Don’t forget the onion with a carrot and a celery stick. This step is very important! Don’t skip the carrot and the celery. Finally, don’t forget to generously season your sauce with oregano, basil, bay leaf, salt, and pepper.
What Is The Difference Between Bolognese And Spaghetti Sauce?
Spaghetti sauce is also known as marinara sauce that is mostly centered around tomatoes, while bolognese is a meat-focused sauce that uses tomatoes but doesn’t make them the focal point.
How Do You Thicken Bolognese Sauce?
Take lid off as the sauce simmers and let the liquids evaporate. This method will yield the best results and draw out the flavors!
Other Recipes You Might Like:
Have you made this spaghetti bolognese sauce at home? I would love to see! Tag me on Instagram @natashashome_ and I would love to share your creations on my stories! If you have any questions, please, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below!