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Spaghetti Bolognese: the traditional pasta recipe from Italy

Total time: 60 Min
Difficulty: Low
Serves: 4 people
By Cookist

Everyone loves pasta and its endless combinations, even if nothing beats the most classic pasta recipes. Spaghetti Bolognese is a classic Italian pasta recipe everyone likes. The Bolognese sauce is rich, thick and flavorful.

This easy recipe is made of vegetable stir-fry, meat and tomato sauce, together with herbs and spices that give it a winning flavor. Let it simmer for a while and share this tasty dish with your family at dinner.

Not only with spaghetti, bolognese sauce is very versatile, so it's a great idea to make a large amount to freeze it in portions to have it always on hand for other recipes such as lasagna Bolognese or Greek moussaka.

What is Spaghetti Bolognese?


Spaghetti Bolognese is a traditional Italian recipe made of tomato sauce, minced meat and milk, that is its secret ingredient. But what is the difference between bolognese and meat sauce? They're essentially the same, but bolognese sauce is thicker and creamier, while meat sauce is an American meat-based recipe mostly open to variations.

How to make Spaghetti Bolognese

To make spaghetti bolognese is easier than you may think. Start by cooking the meat in a pot, together with the onion, carrot, oil and salt. Add the wine and let it evaporate, it will give a new twist to the dish. Add the tomato sauce and milk, then let the sauce simmer for about 20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the spaghetti in salted boiling water. Once cooked al dente, drain the pasta and mix it with the Bolognese sauce. You can garnish the plate with a few basil leaves.


If onions burn, add a little water and low the heat.

Cook the pasta al dente because it will continue to cook once mixed with the bolognese sauce.

Use good quality meat to make the best spaghetti pasta recipe.

You can make the bolognese sauce in the Slow cooker. Cook the onion with a tbsp of oil for a few minutes in a skillet. Then, add all other sauce ingredients in the slow cooker and let it cook for 6 hours. Finally, make the spaghetti and toss with the sauce. You can follow the same method for Instant Pot and cook the sauce for less than 10 minutes.

How to serve Spaghetti Bolognese

These spaghetti bolognese can be prepared just before serving. You can also make them a day ahead, but serve this dish still hot. Garnish the plates with a few leaves of fresh basil.

You can also sprinkle oregano or black pepper. Top with grated cheese such as Parmesan or Grana Padano for a much tastier pasta recipe. Serve the Spaghetti bolognese together with homemade garlic bread or a simple green salad.


Spaghetti Bolognese Variations

Try a different shape of pasta with the Bolognese sauce.

If you prefer to go for a more natural flavor, you can use crushed tomatoes or even canned sieved tomatoes.

Add the chili pepper for a spicy touch.

For a more intense flavor, add spices such as cumin or curry.

The original recipe calls for milk, but if you don't have it on hand, you can use heavy cream.

If you're vegetarian, replace the meat with other vegetables such as mushrooms.

How to store Spaghetti Bolognese

You can store the spaghetti bolognese in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. You can also freeze it portions for up to 2 months.


400 g
lean pork, minced
100 g
veal stifle, minced
200 g
White wine
100 ml
tomato sauce or fried tomatoes
200 g
50 ml
basil leaves, to garnish
Olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste


First peel the onion and carrot, then chop them finely. Pour a little oil into the pot and set it over medium-low heat.

When the oil is hot, add the onion and the carrot together with the salt and cook them for about 10 minutes or until tender and barely brown.

Add the minced meat and mix it using a spatula so that it does not stick together in big pieces. Add the salt, freshly ground black pepper and oregano to taste.

When the meat is no longer pink, increase the heat to high, add the white wine and wait for the alcohol to evaporate, it will only take 2-3 minutes.

Lower the heat, then add the tomato sauce and the milk. Let the sauce simmer for 20 minutes.

When the bolognese sauce is almost ready you can make the pasta. Put abundant water to boil in a pot over high heat.

When the water boils, add a teaspoon of salt and the spaghetti, and as soon as the water boils again start counting the minutes indicated on the package.

When the spaghetti is ready, add the drained spaghetti to the Bolognese sauce pot with the fire off. Mix well.

Serve the spaghetti bolognese with a few basil leaves. Enjoy!

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