The Best Bolognese Sauce

The Best Bolognese Sauce

The Best Bolognese Sauce


Rich, meaty and delicious. Perfect for a rainy day dinner!

This is the Best Bolognese Sauce recipe, who doesn’t love a spag bowl! This meaty and rich sauce will have you going back for seconds. This fully fledged Bolognese Sauce includes beef stock, red wine, carrots and mushrooms and is full of yummy ingredients and rich flavours, perfect for pasta night!


This recipe is a childhood favourite of mine, growing up my mother would cook this favourite at least once a month, to this day I still love it and have it on rinse and repeat ! I have tweaked my recipe many times over the years and I am confident you will love this recipe.

The recipe is simple and straightforward and all over within a couple of hours. It’s tempting to take it off and eat it after an hour of simmering, but trust me you wont regret letting the sauce cook just that little bit longer, to really let the flavours develop.

Love pasta? Check out my other Pasta recipes.

spaghetti bolognese

Where Does Bolognese Come From?

Bolognese is of Italian origin from the northern region of Bologna. The sauce is usually known by the names “ragu” or “ragu alla bolognese”, a simple meat based sauce to be paired with pasta. In Italy it is customarily served with tagliatelle or to prepare lasagne. Genuine “ragù alla bolognese” is a slowly cooked meat-based sauce, and its preparation involves several cooking techniques, including sweating, sautéing and braising.

Bolognese today is a widely popular dish that is eaten all over the world, with each culture cooking the sauce slightly differently; all inspired by the classic Italian dish. If you are ever in Italy remember to look out for ragu on the menu if you want to try the authentic Italian dish behind the name!

spaghetti bolognese

What Do I Need?

  • Good quality Mince Beef – I feel like I will say this a lot on here but good quality ingredients are key to a tasty dish!
  • Carrots, Mushrooms, Garlic and Onions for the sauce.
  • Tinned tomatoes and Tomato Paste and Beef Stock and Red Wine for the rich meaty sauce.
  • Fresh herbs – Basil is a must for me in this dish and Dried Oregano and Mixed herbs.
bolognese prep

Tips & Tricks

  • You should use a good quality mince meat with no more than 15% fat.
  • Passata gives the sauce a smooth texture and allows the other vegetables to shine.
  • Use 2 types of mushrooms I like to use white cup and chestnut mushrooms. Slice them into medium sized slices.
  • Dice your onions very small, this ensures some of the onion melts into the sauce while cooking.
spaghetti bolognese

Bolognese Serving Suggestions –

Serve this delicious bolognese Sauce with buttered spaghetti or tagliatelle. Don’t forget to sprinkle some classic parmesan cheese on top too.

Alternatively, I love serving mine with 2 cheeses, parmesan and mature cheddar. The tangy flavour of cheddar pairs really well with the tomato sauce.

Be sure to enjoy with a large glass of red wine on the side to compliment the rich meat sauce!

5 from 1 vote

The Best Bolognese Sauce

The classic pasta sauce that everyone knows and loves. Bursting with flavour – mushrooms, carrots, garlic and chilli, this sauce is spicy, meaty and rich – blow away your family or friends with this delicious classic dinner recipe!
Servings 8 people
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 20 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 35 minutes


  • Deep casserole pot or cast iron pot
  • Wooden spoon
  • Sharp knife
  • Chopping board
  • Peeler


  • 500 g minced beef
  • 1 litre passata or blend 2 tinned tomatoes
  • 1 onion
  • 4 garlic
  • 2 cups chopped carrots
  • 500 g sliced mushrooms
  • 200 ml red wine
  • 200 ml beef stock
  • 1 tbsp fresh basil
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree


  • Properly wash the mushrooms and peel the carrots. Slice the mushrooms (keeping the stalks), chop the onions into small squares and the carrots into cubes – see the picture. Mince the garlic and chop the chilli finely.
  • Heat the olive oil in the pan until hot. Now add the mince meat and fry until browned. Once the meat has browned add the onions and fry for 3/5 minutes adding the minced garlic in the last minute or so to avoid burning.
  • Add the sliced mushrooms and mix well and leave to cook for 2 minutes. Stir again and ensure all mushrooms have changed colour (darker in colour see picture). Finally add half of the chopped carrots, stir and leave again for 2 more minutes.
  • Next add the wine, passata, chopped chilli and squeeze some tomato puree to the pan and stir. Add the herbs, spices, salt and pepper, mix well and cover.
  • Leave heat on high and allow to come to a bubble (about 10 minutes) keep checking until boiling and then turn down to medium for 20 minutes.
  • After 20 minutes turn down to low and add the remaining carrots and leave on low for another 40 minutes.  Stir every 10 minutes, and check for salt after the first 20 minutes and add more if needed.
  • After 20 minutes the sauce will be ready but I leave mine for the full 40 minutes on low – The longer the cook the tastier the sauce! Enjoy!


Child friendly: Hold off on the wine and don’t use chilli or cayenne pepper if your children are not used to spice or rich flavours. Instead add 2 more teaspoons of black pepper.
Cost: £10
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Italian
Keyword: Meat, Quick & Easy, Spaghetti

Did you try this Bolognese Sauce Recipe?

Got any questions? Ask away! I’m here to help! If you loved this recipe, I hope you’ll leave a comment and rating below! Let me know how it turned out for you and share it on social media. Don’t forget to tag us at @chilliandlife and hashtag it #chilliandlife ! I’ll be sure to share it!


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