Family Spaghetti Bolognese Sauce

    2 hours 15 minutes

    This is my variation on the classic Italian recipe + lots of variations (see substitution section). I used to always use bought pasta sauces until I realised how much better it is making your own and it's just as easy! My family has diverse tastes so depending on who I'm cooking for decides which version I make! Vegetarian for my mum, meaty for my brother, traditional for my dad etc...


    Queensland, Australia
    83 people made this

    Serves: 4 

    • 1 large brown onion (chopped)
    • 2 cloves garlic (finely chopped)
    • 2 medium carrots (finely chopped)
    • 2 medium celery sticks (finely chopped)
    • 1 small red capsicum (finely chopped)
    • 4 medium flat mushrooms (chopped)
    • 500g lean (heart smart) beef mince
    • 100g tomato paste
    • 1/4 cup red wine
    • 1 tablespoon mixed herbs
    • 1 tablespoon dried oregano
    • 1 tablespoon dried thyme or marjoram
    • 600g tinned chopped tomatoes
    • 2 tablespoons fresh basil
    • 500ml water (2 cups)
    • pinch each of salt and pepper (freshly ground)
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil

    Preparation:15min  ›  Cook:2hours  ›  Ready in:2hours15min 

    1. Heat olive oil in a large stock pot.
    2. When hot add onion and saute over low-medium heat until onion begins to turn clear but does not burn/brown.
    3. Add garlic to pot and saute until aromatic.
    4. Add carrot, celery, capsicum, and mushrooms and saute for several minutes until mushrooms and/or capsicum are tender but not soft.
    5. Turn heat up to medium-high and add mince to pot, and stir through vegetables with a fork until mince begins to brown and any lumps are broken up.
    6. Stir through tomato paste and red wine and simmer for 5-10 minutes until liquid has been absorbed.
    7. Add mixed herbs, thyme, oregano, and a decent pinch of both salt and pepper and stir through thoroughly.
    8. Add tinned chopped tomatos 200g at a time, simmer for 5 minutes between each addition.
    9. Stir through chopped basil then add 1/2 the water (250ml/1cup) and simmer with the lid on over low-medium heat for 30 minutes, stirring occassionally.
    10. Add remaining water and simmer uncovered for another 30 minutes, stirring occassionally. If sauce becomes to thick simply add a little water, stirring between each addition.
    11. ENJOY! Note this makes 4 BIG servings or 8 small servings. Also see below for serving suggestion, a meatier substitution, a vegetarian version, and tips...


    I often make a vegetarian version of this dish because I often find red meat sits too heavy in my stomach. Simply omit the beef mince and double the original quantities of vegetables and add 2 zucchinis (chopped), 100g green beans (trimmed and halved), and 2 tomatoes (chopped) when adding the tinned tomatoes.


    This recipe only gets better with age! For a richer sauce, make the sauce the day before and then leave it to cool, refridgerating over night. An hour before serving return the sauce to the pot and reheat over low-medium heat, stirring occassionally.

    Use for leftovers

    If you want to do something different with the leftovers then add a 400g can of red kidney (or mexican) beans and 2 tsps chilli powder to the mix when reheating. This creates the perfect mexican style sauce for burritos, tacos, or enchilladas.

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    Reviews in English (6)


    I added some chopped zucchini, 1/2 cup of red lentils and some chilli to the sauce and it was beautiful.  -  01 Sep 2016


    Got it all going, I am about 1/2 way thru reducing the liquid, gave myself a taste. Mumma Mia, this is the best I have ever made thanks to Chorazy. I put the recipe onto Publisher and printed it out. Just so it would print onto one page.  -  17 Aug 2014


    Very similar to how I have always made it! Loved it!  -  27 May 2013