Spaghetti Bolognese is made with cooked spaghetti and meat sauce (ragu). This recipe is quite different from that of the Italian Bolognese sauce. Though the sauce used in spaghetti bolognese appears similar to bolognese sauce, they are different in many ways and would be explained later. Ragu in Italian simply means “meat sauce” and it is often served with pasta.
What is Spaghetti Bolognese?
Spaghetti bolognese is a ground meat-based sauce served with cooked spaghetti. Other names are “spag bol“, spaghetti alla bolognese, or spaghetti with meat sauce. Ground beef is mostly used but other types of meats such as pork have been used in other parts of the world.
How to Make Spaghetti Bolognese
- 400 grams ground Beef
- 2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese This is used to top the spaghetti bolognese when served. Other local cheeses such as cheddar cheese can also be used.
- 800 grams crushed tomatoes
- ½ cup grated carrots
- ¼ cup finely grated celery
- ½ cup chopped onions
- 2 tbsp tomato paste
- ½ tsp dried oregano
- 3 minced garlic cloves
- ½ cup red wine
- 1 tbsp finely chopped basil
- ½ tsp cumin
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- ½ tsp thyme
- ½ tsp black pepper
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 cubes of beef seasoning
- ½ tbsp brown sugar THis helps to tame the sour taste of the tomatoes in the sauce.
- Start by adding 2 tbsp of olive oil into a pan.
- Allow the oil to heat up and then go in with 1/2 cup of chopped onions.
- Add 3 minced garlic cloves after sauteing the onions for 2 minutes and they are soft; stir fry the garlic for 30 seconds and add 1/4 cup finely grated celery. Also, add 1/2 cup of finely grated carrots and cook on medium heat for 3 minutes until the veggies are wilted and soft.
- Go in with 400 grams of ground beef and stir fry for about 5 minutes until the beef is no longer pink in color. As you cook the beef, make sure you use a spoon to mash and cut it into small pieces.
- Add 1/2 cup of dry red wine and bring to a simmer for one minute or until the raw taste of the wine is gone.
- Next, add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and 1/2 tbsp of brown sugar. Stir everything together. The brown sugar helps tame down the sour taste of the tomatoes.
- Start seasoning the meat sauce for your bolognese with 2 cubes of beef seasoning, Worcestershire sauce, cumin, oregano, thyme, salt, and black pepper. Stir everything together, cover, and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes. Making the bolognese sauce in a slow cooker has the advantage of making the sauce develop much flavor because the aroma of the ingredients is released completely into the sauce.
- As the spaghetti bolognese sauce is cooking, begin cooking the spaghetti.
- Add 1 tsp of salt to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Then add the spaghetti to it and cook according to package instructions.
- After cooking the spaghetti remove it from heat and drain off the water.
- Your sauce should have been cooked too, garnish with about 1 tbsp of finely chopped basil, stir and then turn off the heat; serve the spaghetti with the meat sauce on top of it. Spaghetti bolognese is often eaten with a topping of grated parmesan on top.
Some important points to note while cooking spaghetti with meat sauce
The brown sugar helps to get rid of the sour taste of tomatoes in the spaghetti bolognese sauce.
You can mix 1/4 tsp of baking soda with the ground beef before cooking the meat. This helps to maintain moisture in the meat; making it soft, tender, and juicy.
How do you make spaghetti bolognese tastier?
Adding meat broth or beef bouillon cubes to your bolognese makes it taste better; You can also add Worcestershire sauce to it. Always use fresh aromatic ingredients such as onions, garlic, and thyme.
Differences between Bolognese Sauce and Meat Sauce (ragu) used in Spaghetti Bolognese
- Bolognese sauce is a traditional Italian sauce but meat sauce for spag bol is not. In fact, spaghetti with meat sauce is not an authentic traditional Italian or Bolognese cuisine – it is only popular outside of Italy.
- Spag bol uses garlic while bolognese sauce doesn’t.
- Milk or broth is used for bolognese sauce but that is not the case with spaghetti bolognese.
- The bolognese sauce is eaten with fresh tagliatelle pasta whereas the thin cylindrical stranded pasta (known as spaghetti) is used for the spaghetti alla bolognese recipe. Other kinds of pasta eaten with bolognese sauce may include the broadly shaped pasta such as the fettuccine or pappardelle; other kinds of pasta for bolognese sauce may also include tubular-shaped pasta such as the penne or rigatoni.
Nutrition and Calories
Below are the nutrition and calories per serving of Homemade Spaghetti with meat sauce. The values may vary greatly depending on the quantities of added ingredients as well as the type of ingredients used.
1 serving of spaghetti with meat sauce contains about 352 calories, 46 grams of carbs, 30 grams of protein, and 19 grams of fats. Other nutrients include cis also high in sodium (392mg) and potassium (616 mg).