Spaghetti with Meat Sauce (Bolognese)

March 28th, 2010 by katie

What is about spaghetti?  It is such a simple idea, yet such a crowd pleaser.  Seriously, if you don’t love spaghetti, if it isn’t a total comfort food for you, leave me a comment and let me know because I just don’t believe you exist. 

I love meaty Bolognese-style spaghetti sauces.  I say “Bolognese-style” because I am sure there are rules about what is Bolognese and what is not and I wouldn’t know the first thing about it.  This meat sauce has a wonderful, clean flavor without overly complicated ingredients.  You can certainly doctor it up by adding ground veal or Italiansausage, mushrooms, peppers, cheese, chicken stock or any number of things people add to their spaghetti sauces but then it would be a different recipe and not this simply Bolognese-style one. 

This makes a modest amount of spaghetti sauce, you can double the recipe to make more.  I minced carrots for this recipe because I was out of carrot puree but normally I prefer Gerber brand. *wink* 

Spaghetti with Meat Sauce

serves 6-8, prep 15 minutes, cook 1+ hours
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup carrots, minced, about 4 medium (or puree)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp  tomato paste
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp dried basil
  • 1 (28 oz) can tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup milk or cream
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Heat a large pot or dutch oven over medium high heat.
  2. Melt butter and add carrots and onion before the butter browns.
  3. Cook carrots and onion until soft, stirring often.  If using carrot puree, add it after the onions have softened.
  4. Stir in tomato paste and cook about a minute.
  5. Add ground beef to the pot and break it up as it browns, stirring occasionally. Add garlic.
  6. Add red wine and bring to a boil, scraping up the bottom.
  7. Add spices, tomato, and milk.  Bring to a boil, cover, and turn heat down to maintain a simmer.
  8. Simmer sauce at least 30 minutes or as long as you like.  I like to simmer at least an hour or longer if possible.

By the way, five out of five sauce-averse children approve of this recipe.  Serve with garlic bread and a salad.

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Posted in Easy, Main Dish

14 Responses

  1. Tami Lyn

    Sorry, I love it!

  2. DailyChef

    Can’t help you, I love it too! I have been going more to a tomato cream sauce though…

  3. JeNee

    I actually don’t like it. I did as a toddler, but I don’t care for it anymore. Oh, and I don’t like PBJ either. I must be an alien!

  4. Kristi W.

    I’m another weirdo that doesn’t like it. I don’t like tomatoes or tomato sauce at all. Sorry! I know I’m weird!

  5. sweetbird

    I just made tagliarelle Bolognese two days ago and was about to post about it.

    I tried doing it the traditional way – with cream and red wine, but even though it was delicious it was weird to not have more tomatoes in it.

  6. debbie

    Just the way I like it…not too tomatoe-ee!

  7. Jenn

    Not crazy about spaghetti here. I will eat it if someone makes it for me, but will always choose something else. In the 4 years I’ve lived on my own, I’ve never made spaghetti, and have probably only eaten it 2 or 3 times– at my mom’s.

  8. alexandra

    Looks so yummy! Total comfort food. Might have to make this this week.

  9. Nichole

    Actually I’m another weird one who doesn’t like Spaghetti at all. I guess my parents made it too much when I was a kid, I dunno. Strangely enough, I love lasagna…

  10. Kristen Doyle

    Spaghetti is a staple in our home and I agree it is such a crowd pleaser. I like the addition of carrots. I am always trying to add vegetables whenever I can.

  11. Memoria

    It’s funny how there some non-Spaghetti/Bolognese lovers posting on here. I wonder what compelled them to come to your page! LOL!

    I am a lover of all things pasta. My go-to sauce is very similar to yours. Your dish looks absolutely perfect.

  12. Lauren

    I’m not much of a red meat eater, but this bolognese looks so tasty that I’m adding it to my list of dinners to make. I love preparing long/slow-cooking meals on Sunday nights, and this is the perfect dish for such an evening :).

  13. kathy

    Oh my gosh! I love bolognese. I suddenly felt my tummy rumbling. lol! :-)

  14. Jes McA

    My husband doesn’t like spaghetti AT ALL! He’s hunting out of town tomorrow so I’m making homemade noodles and a chef friend of mine is making bolognese sauce. I’ve pretty much been looking forward to it for two weeks!

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