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How to make spaghetti bolognese sauce

How to make Spaghetti Bolognese (with Hidden Vegetables!)

This easy Spaghetti Bolognese recipe is always a winner. A quick midweek meal, this beef mince dish includes hidden vegetables and is perfect for freezing.

Course Main Course
Cuisine Family Food
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour
Servings 8 People
Calories 203 kcal
Author Sarah Barnes

Ingredients

  • 250 g Carrots
  • 200 g Chestnut mushrooms
  • 1 Large courgette
  • 1 Large onion See Note 1.
  • 2 Celery stalks
  • 95 g Pancetta slices Finely chopped (See Note 2.)
  • 500 g Lean beef mince See Note 3.
  • 3 Garlic cloves Peeled and crushed
  • 2 x 400g tins Chopped tomatoes
  • 350 ml Red wine See Note 4.
  • Whole nutmeg
  • 2 tsp Italian dried herbs
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • A handful of fresh basil leaves

To serve

  • Spaghetti or your choice of pasta See Note 5.
  • Parmesan Cheese

Instructions

  1. Use your chopper or food processor to finely chop the carrots, mushrooms, courgettes, onions and celery. (See Note 6.)

  2. Meanwhile, in a large, heavy saucepan, fry off your small pieces of pancetta. Remove from the pan to a large dish.
  3. In the fat left in the bottom of the pan, brown your mince over a medium high heat. Allow it all to turn brown and start to crisp slightly. Remove from the pan and add to the dish with the pancetta.
  4. Now add the garlic to the pan and fry for 2 - 3 minutes, before adding the finely chopped vegetables. Fry them for about 10 minutes until soft.
  5. Add the pancetta and mince back to the pan. Add the tinned tomatoes, red wine, a good grating of the fresh nutmeg (about a quarter of a nutmeg), the dried herbs and salt and pepper.

  6. Leave the heat on medium, with the lid on and allow to bubble away for at least 30 minutes (an hour on a very low temperature if you have time). (See Note 7.)

  7. Remove from the heat and add in chopped or ripped basil leaves.
  8. Serve with spaghetti and grated parmesan.

Recipe Notes

Note 1 - The Vegetables
I like to buy a pre chopped Sofritto mix which is onions, celery and carrots. Most supermarkets stock these now and it can save so much time.

Note 2 - Pancetta
If you can't get hold of pancetta, any smoky bacon will work.

Note 3 - Mince
You don't have to use lean mince but 5% or 10% fat does works fine.

Note 4 - Red Wine
If you don't have any red wine open, beef stock is absolutely fine.

Note 5 - The Pasta
About 300g of dried pasta is right for 4 people. I haven't included it in the recipe as a specific as I know people like to cook different amounts to their own taste and appetite!

Note 6
You can omit the courgettes and mushrooms if you prefer, but they are so well hidden and add a good dose of veggies.

Note 7 - Cooking time
This gets better and better the longer you cook it for on a low heat. If I have time I love to cook it very very low and slow for say 2 hours.

Nutrition Facts
How to make Spaghetti Bolognese (with Hidden Vegetables!)
Amount per Serving
Calories
203
% Daily Value*
Fat
 
8
g
12
%
Saturated Fat
 
3
g
19
%
Cholesterol
 
46
mg
15
%
Sodium
 
155
mg
7
%
Potassium
 
621
mg
18
%
Carbohydrates
 
8
g
3
%
Fiber
 
1
g
4
%
Sugar
 
3
g
3
%
Protein
 
16
g
32
%
Vitamin A
 
5315
IU
106
%
Vitamin C
 
7.9
mg
10
%
Calcium
 
37
mg
4
%
Iron
 
2.1
mg
12
%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.