Spaghetti Bolognese Like Mama Used to Make
spaghetti bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese Like Mama Used to Make

Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6
spaghetti bolognese

Bolognese sauce has a long tradition originating in Bologna, Italy many centuries ago. But the combination of the sauce with spaghetti pasta to make spaghetti bolognese is more modern.

A bit of research suggests that the combination was made by Italian immigrants to the USA and then brought over to the UK.

So when I say “like Mama used to make” I mean my mother. She served up spag bol at least once a week for as long as I can remember.

I’ve tried many recipes for spaghetti bolognese over the years but my wife and I have settled on this one from Jamie Oliver with a couple of added tweaks of our own.

⚠️ Warning to Parents and Grandparents

Spaghetti Bolognese and very young children is NOT a good idea as in the picture!

baby with spaghetti bolognese
Credit: Australian Broadcasting Corporation

If you are going to risk feeding it to your child, my wife (aka Nanny) recommends a plastic floor covering and sitting them as close as possible to the bathroom. Also, have the washing machine on standby as the sauce stains are difficult to remove.

spaghetti bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese Like Mama Used to Make

A tweaked version of Jamie Oliver's spaghetti bolognese.
No ratings yet
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Italian, pasta, ragu, spaghetti
Difficulty: Easy
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 771kcal
Author: Richard


  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 onion
  • 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
  • 6 rashers smoked streaky bacon
  • olive oil
  • 500 g minced beef
  • 200 ml red wine
  • 1 jar sun-dried tomatoes
  • 800 g plum tomatoes ( 2x 400g tins)
  • 1 tsp (affiliate link)Worcester sauce
  • 500 g dried spaghetti
  • Parmesan cheese
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh basil leaves to garnish


  • Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4.
  • Peel and finely chop the garlic and onions, pick and finely chop the rosemary, then finely slice the bacon.
  • Heat a splash of oil in a casserole pan on a medium heat, add the bacon, rosemary, garlic and onion and cook for 5 minutes, or until softened, stirring occasionally.
  • Add the minced beef, breaking it apart with the back of a spoon, then cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until starting to brown, then pour in the wine. Leave to bubble and cook away.
  • Meanwhile, drain and tip the sun-dried tomatoes into a food processor, blitz to a paste, then add to the pan with the tomatoes. Stir well, break the plum tomatoes apart a little.
  • Cover with a lid then place in the oven for 1 hour, removing the lid and giving it a stir after 30 minutes – if it looks a little dry at this stage, add a splash of water to help it along.
  • About 10 minutes before the time is up, cook the spaghetti in boiling salted water according to the packet instructions.
  • Once the spaghetti is cooked, drain, reserving a mugful of cooking water, then return to the pan with a few spoons of Bolognese, a good grating of Parmesan and a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.
  • Toss to coat the spaghetti, loosening with a splash of cooking water, if needed.
  • Divide the spaghetti between plates or bowls, add a good spoonful of Bolognese to each, then serve with a fine grating of Parmesan and fresh basil leaves to garnish.


Calories: 771kcal | Carbohydrates: 92g | Protein: 35g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 10g | Fiber: 9g | Sugar: 21g

You may also like one of my other recipes …

lentil stew
Spanish Lentil Stew
Lentil stew is delicious, nutritious and a real warmer for those chilly evenings.
Check out this recipe
pollo pibil
Pollo Pibil
Chicken pieces are marinated in Achiote paste and sour orange juice then slow-cooked until tender.
Check out this recipe
Grandads Cookbook may reference or include sections of text and images reproduced courtesy of:

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating