Bolognese with a difference

Bolognese with a difference

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(55 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-


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
    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 cloves
  • 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 choice of meat for a British Sunday roast. Beef is full of flavour, as…

  • 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
    Bowl of olives



    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, questions and tips

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5th Apr, 2017
This is my go to recipe for spaghetti Bol, sometimes I use olives and celery sometimes not, depends what I have in. Both taste delicious!
21st Nov, 2016
This was great, went down well with my family. I added finely chopped carrot, Worcestershire sauce and used mixed deli olives, but would be delicious either way.
AshleyP's picture
4th Jul, 2015
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
11th Sep, 2014
My son said that it was the best spaghetti bolognese he'd ever tasted!
1st Jul, 2014
Very tasty and easy. Also quicker to prepare than other bologneses I've made.
3rd Feb, 2014
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.
31st Aug, 2013
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.
30th May, 2013
Very easy to make. I added some sun dried tomatoes and a splash of Worcestershire sauce. Very tasty.
27th Feb, 2013
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
18th Feb, 2013
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.


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