Spaghetti alla Bolognese

I love, love, love Bolognese sauce, and I may be known to order exclusively rigatoni alla Bolognese when out to eat at local Italian restaurants. It is such a classic dish, it’s comforting and filling, and I know I am never disappointed when I order it.

From what I have seen at restaurants and on other websites, I’ve noticed that there are many different variations of this sauce. Some start with a soffrito of onions, celery and carrots, some recipes have cream – others have a trio of meats as opposed to just one. This recipe is as simple as they come – a no fuss and delicious sauce, which, in my family, we always served with spaghetti. I love this sauce for Sunday dinner and for special occasions, and it hardly takes any more work than a simple Salsa di Pomodoro | Tomato Sauce.

I am fortunate enough to always have handmade passata on hand – my family jars tomatoes at their peak freshness every August for the entire year, so I rarely have to purchase canned tomatoes and purees. Every once in a while, when I do run out, I am sure to purchase a tomato puree that has only one ingredient: tomatoes. Be sure to use just that in this sauce, as many purees already contain spices and additional salt. I use Pomi brand strained (pureed) tomatoes when I find myself in need of them and am always happy with the result. I hope you love this recipe!

Spaghetti alla Bolognese

  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print


  • 2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Red Pepper Flakes to taste
  • 4 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
  • 1/2 white onion, diced
  • 1 cup dry red wine
  • 1 lb 85-15 ground beef
  • 28 oz passata or tomato puree with no extra additives
  • 14 oz water (to rinse out the can / jar )
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 lb spaghetti.


  1. Set a large pot or dutch oven with lid over a medium flame. Heat the pot, then add oil and red pepper flakes and heat through, about 1 minute. Add garlic and onions together and allow to saute until onions are translucent.
  2. Add the beef and brown until just cooked. Add red wine and reduce by 1/2 – about 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add tomato puree or passata and rinse the jar out halfway with water and add to the pot. Stir to combine. Add salt, parsley, basil, and oregano and stir. Cover and simmer for 1 hour.
  4. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add your spaghetti. Undercook the spaghetti by about 2 minutes, according to your box instructions. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water (about 1/2 a mug full) and drain your pasta. Return it to the pot, add pasta water, and a few ladles of bolognese. Continue to cook on a low flame until al dente – about 3-5 more minutes.
  5. Plate and top with additional sauce, to taste.

CategoriesSalse | Sauces

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