If you ask me for an easy dinner idea, I would not hesitate to say: It’s Spaghetti Bolognese! This homemade spaghetti recipe has all the makings of a family favorite that I make more than any other recipe (well yes it is, but other recipes are still good!).
My Spaghetti Bolognese is perfectly simple and easy for a busy week day night, even when you don’t feel like spending a whole night cooking but do wish your food to be still delicious and a true Italian classic. If you are looking for another spaghetti recipe, try my Easy garlic shrimp pasta recipe, it will help satisfy your cravings in less than no time.
Oh wait, I didn’t tell you yet, there are two best things about this recipe. First, this Spaghetti Bolognese is traditionally rich and flavored as it has been simmering for a few hours but in fact it’s ready in less than 40 minutes. Second, you can make it ahead of time. Freeze the sauce in the fridge and reheat on a stove, the sauce is ready for a perfect meal just in a few minutes. Amazing!
Bolognese sauce which originated from Bologna, Italy is a sauce made with meat that is then mixed with pasta before eating. It is called Ragù alla bolognese in Italy. With red wine, oregano and basil, the sauce becomes creamy and brings aromatic smell to wow everyone. Also the smell from garlic and onion sauteing with butter will draw everyone’s attention to the place where it is being prepared!
WHAT TO SERVE WITH ITALIAN SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE?
While this Spaghetti Bolognese can be served on its own, I would recommend any simple kind of salad or garlic bread alongside a pasta dish. For an even better taste, do not forget a glass of your favorite wine if you like a bit of alcohol for dinner. On pairing with Bolognese sauce, red wine is recommended!
A FEW COOKING TIPS TO PERFECT SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE
- Carrots and celery are recommended in traditional Italian Bolognese to enhance the flavor of the sauce but it is still delicious if you don’t have them in the recipe. In this recipe, I will skip carrots as I am running out of them.
- Seasoning the meat with salt and pepper before sautéing with garlic and onions adds an extra depth of flavor
- Cooking with fresh aromatics such as garlic and onion adds flavor to the sauce
- Fresh and dried herbs gives a better flavor
- You can sub many of the ingredients as what you have on hand. You can also use ground pork, ground chicken or sausage replaced with ground beef.
- Using fresh tomatoes is preferable in this Bolognese sauce but you can have tomato puree in place of fresh tomatoes.
- Red wine or white wine is still good
- Leftovers can be stored in the fridge up to 5 days and be frozen for up to 3 months
Italian Spaghetti Bolognese
- ½ stick of butter or 2 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 garlic bulb, minced
- 1 pound ground beef
- 6 fresh tomatoes, chopped
- 1 can tomatoes paste
- 1-2 tablespoon oregano
- 1 tablespoon basil
- ½ pound spaghetti
- Salt and pepper
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- ⅓ cup red wine
- Grate cheese or Parmersan cheese for serving
Cook the spaghetti according to package instructions. Drain and toss the spaghetti with 1 tablespoon of olive oil to prevent the noodles from sticking to each other. Reserve ½ cup the pasta water.
Sauté garlic and onion: Heat the butter ( or olive oil) in a large pan over medium-high heat. Add the onions, garlic and sauté until lightly golden, 2 to 3 minutes.
Fry the meat: Add the ground beef and cook for 10 minutes until fully cooked and no pink in the meat. Use the spatula to break the meat until they are separate.
Make sauce base: Add tomato paste and oregano then mix with the meat. Stir in the red wine and cook for around 5-8 minutes
Add extra fresh tomatoes: Add the fresh chopped tomatoes, basil and season with salt and pepper. Stir and simmer over the medium-low heat for about 15-20 minutes. The longer you cook the more flavored the sauce
Add in cream: Stir in the heavy cream in minutes or stir until the sauce reaches desired consistency. Then add 1 tablespoon sugar to adjust the final flavor of sauce if needed. If your sauce is too thick add some of the pasta water.
Garnish and serve: Serve spaghetti with the sauce on top or toss spaghetti in a pot to coat with the sauce. Top with Parmesan cheese and basil. Serve immediately.