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Traditional Classic Spaghetti Bolognese

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It is very seldom that I make my traditional classic Spaghetti Bolognese because it takes a minimum of 3 hours to simmer.

Spaghetti is a long, thin, solid, cylindrical pasta. It is a staple food of traditional Italian cuisine. Like other pasta, spaghetti is made of milled wheat and water and is sometimes enriched with vitamins and minerals. Italian spaghetti is typically made from durum wheat semolina. Usually, the pasta is white because refined flour is used, but whole wheat flour may be added.  Spaghettoni is a thicker form of spaghetti, while capellini is a very thin spaghetti.

Why does spaghetti bolognese not exist in Italy?

In Italy, this sauce is generally not served with spaghetti because it tends to fall off the pasta and stay on the plate. Instead, the people of Bologna traditionally serve their famous meat sauce with tagliatelle (tagliatelle alla bolognese)

Traditional Classic Spaghetti Bolognese
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Traditional Classic Spaghetti Bolognese

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  • Author:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Additional Time: 0 hours
  • Cook Time: 120 minutes
  • Total Time: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x


It is very seldom that I make my classic Spaghetti Bolognese because it takes a minimum of 3 hours to simmer. Most busy working moms don’t have that luxury. I fortunately do, so I can indulge in this timeless classic.


Units Scale
  • 500gr Spaghetti
  • 500 gr ground beef
  • 500 gr Italian sausage (or use all beef)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup finely grated celery
  • 2/3 cup finely grated carrot
  • 1 small finely diced onion
  • 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
  • salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1/2 tsp dried thyme (or 1 teaspoon fresh thyme)
  • 1 tsp dried oregano (or 2 teaspoon fresh oregano, chopped)
  • 1 tbsp fresh Italian parsley
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp Italian Herbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 cup dry white wine (sub white wine vinegar and chicken stock)
  • 1 cup beef stock
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 can plum tomatoes, chopped with liquid
  • 1 cup passata
  • Parmesan cheese and parsley to garnish


  1. In a saucepan heat oil and butter.
  2. Add carrots, celery, onions, and sauté for 3 minutes.
  3. Add ground meat, salt, and pepper to taste and cook until the meat is no longer pink.
  4. Add the herbs and the nutmeg.
  5. Add wine and simmer until evaporated.
  6. Finally, add the tomatoes, bay leaves, tomato paste, passata, sugar, and beef stock and simmer slowly, stirring occasionally, for 2 hours partially covered.
  7. Add the milk and parsley and simmer for another hour.
  8. If sauce becomes dry, (which it shouldn’t) add ½ cup stock or passata whenever necessary.
  9. When almost ready to serve, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
  10. Cook the pasta until it is tender but still firm to the bite, 10 to 12 minutes.
  11. Drain, and add either some olive oil or butter.
  12. Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese and parsley.


Prepared, tried, and tested Melanie from The Recipe Hunter: Tried and Tested Recipes from Home Chefs


  • Serving Size: 1
  • Calories: 1172
  • Sugar: 12
  • Sodium: 1327
  • Fat: 68
  • Saturated Fat: 25
  • Unsaturated Fat: 44
  • Trans Fat: 1
  • Carbohydrates: 57
  • Fiber: 4
  • Protein: 69
  • Cholesterol: 196
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