Bolognese with a difference

Bolognese with a difference

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(39 ratings)

Ready in around 50 minutes


Serves 4
A classic with a few added extras, everyone loves a good spag bol

Nutrition and extra info


  • kcal-
  • fat-
  • saturates-
  • carbs-
  • sugars-
  • fibre-
  • protein-
  • salt-
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  • 2 tbsp olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • 1 onion



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 2 crushed garlic clove
  • 1 stick, finely chopped celery



    A collection of long, thick, juicy stalks around a central, tender heart, celery ranges in…

  • 450g minced beef



    The classic cut of meat for a British Sunday roast, beef is full of flavour, as well as being a…

  • 2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
  • 400g can chopped tomato



    A member of the nightshade family (along with aubergines, peppers and chillies), tomatoes are in…

  • 150ml beef stock
  • 50g chopped olive



    Widely grown all over the Mediterranean, where they've been cultivated since biblical times…

  • handful fresh basil leaves



    Most closely associated with Mediterranean cooking but also very prevalent in Asian food, the…

  • spaghetti, to serve


  1. Heat the olive oil in a large pan and cook the chopped onion, garlic and chopped celery for 3-4 minutes over a medium heat until the onion has softened slightly. Tip in the lean minced beef and cook, stirring occasionally, for 3-4 minutes until browned all over. Stir in the sun-dried tomato paste and cook for 1 minute.

  2. Add the chopped tomatoes. Pour the beef stock into the empty tomato can, swish around then add to the pan. Stir in the pitted black chopped olives. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat, then cover and simmer gently for 35-40 minutes, until very tender. Season well and stir in a handful of fresh torn basil leaves.

  3. Toss with cooked spaghetti and serve.

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Comments (40)

AshleyP's picture

My partner loves spag Bol and I used to use the jars. I'm not a lover as find it to tomatoey but after using this recipe I am now a spag Bol fan. Easy, quick and tasty

Lou15e's picture

My son said that it was the best spaghetti bolognese he'd ever tasted!

sarah_brown's picture

Very tasty and easy. Also quicker to prepare than other bologneses I've made.

stirky's picture

Made this evening as I had some leftover sundried tomato paste to use up. Thought it was pretty scrummy and my will most likely be my new 'go to' bolognaise recipe. Added mushrooms and some herbs which bulked it out nicely and added some extra flavour. As another person said this would be good to adapt for whatever veg you have lying around. Good stuff.

carlnotts's picture

This bolognese sauce is ok but I prefer a richer tomato based sauce, due to the beef stock you add it makes the sauce overly meaty for my taste as it over powers any tomato flavours.

melpadge37's picture

Very easy to make. I added some sun dried tomatoes and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Very tasty.

lisalovesmanolo's picture

We really liked this - I tend to find other bolognese recipes watery or bland but this was full of flavour. I did take advice from other comments and added some mushrooms, a dash of worcestershire sauce and some extra italian herbs for more punch. Normal tomato puree was fine. I used a deli tub of mixed olives with herbs which seemed to work well and saved me having half a jar of olives left in the fridge. This feels like one of those recipes that we'll keep making with a bit of variation based on what might be in the fridge at the time.

My machine won't let me rate it but I'd give it 4 stars

allan7710's picture

I've made this recipe a few times now, the first time I made it I used the sundried tomato paste but felt it didn't give much flavour so next time I used sundried tomato pesto and it was lovely. I also substituted the olives for mushrooms and carrots. It's a really nice dish and it goes down well with all the family.

aliwestmids-01's picture

Friend recommended this site and first receipe I tried was this spag bol - it was gorgeous and so easy to make - made it for different people and lots of compliments - definitely recommend.

curtis5red's picture

really nice recipe, easy to make, added some red wine, extra garlic and diced carrots, will make again maybe adding some mushrooms and peppers for a change

magali612's picture

loved it since the first time I tried it! now it's the only bolognese I make!

simonr's picture

easy to cook.
loved the sun dried tomato paste mixed with beef stock taste.
olives are a must.
we added mushrooms which is generally a good thing.
will now always make it like this.

wildcat61's picture

very hearty bolognese which went down well, instead of olives used the carrot and mushroom option and used courgette instead of celery..delish

redlipstick's picture

I leave out the olives and use ordinary tomato puree instead of sun-dried. The first time I made it I used sun-dried and really didn't like the taste. Now I've adapted it to my liking it's a firm favourite in our house. I use this recipe everytime I make spaghetti bolognese. If I have the time I let it simmer for an hour for a richer flavour.

dianaibiza's picture

I had to use ordinary tomato paste, so I doubled the quantity. Apart from that followed the recipe and although the bolognese is quite rich, it has a lovely mediterranean flavour. Great change from the usual bolognese sauce.

markymarkymark's picture

its good...but i am still in search of the perfect bolognaise recipe. anyone know one?

anitacarr's picture

Best spaghetti bolognaise I have ever made, and I've made a few. Very easy, quick and tasty.

jburton's picture

Ive made a pot of this ahead to reheat later. I've kept everything the same (except for celery as we don't have any) I've also added chopped carrot and chopped spinach (chard) stalk. A splash of red wine, Worcester sauce and some oregano plus extra Tomato paste (ordinary we don't have the sun dried tomato type in). Will serve later with Linguine and tear and share garlic bread. Tastes lovely.

sandydevil's picture

Done this for my partner and step-daughter who can be a fussy eater, needless to say they loved it however i did add lea&perrins for some added taste and used turkey mince as a healthier option..


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