This has long been a staple dish in my repertoire and I think that I, like many of us, have a weakness for a good meaty pasta sauce. However, bolognese sauce can often turn out mediocre if thrown together in a hurry and without much thought. My philosophy for making a good bolognese rests on two principles. One: it should be really meaty, and two: it should simmer gently for a long time to tenderise the meat. My usual bolognese contains beef mince, pork mince, bacon, and pork sausage meat. This gives a nice combination of meaty flavours. It’s nice to vary things though, and I sometimes combine the beef mince with lamb or venison mince. Another thing about my bolognese, which is slightly controversial, is that I omit tomatoes and only include tomato purée. The main liquid component of the sauce instead comes from beef or pork stock, which promotes a richer meat flavour. This is an easy reliable meal, and a great one to serve if you have guests since just about everyone likes spaghetti bolognese! I usually make a big quantity, then freeze most of it before adding the cream.

Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe


  • 150 g bacon lardons
  • 2 medium onions
  • 3 large cloves garlic
  • 1 stick celery
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 500 g beef mince
  • 500 g pork mince
  • 250 g good quality pork sausages, removed from their skins
  • 6 tablespoons tomato purée
  • 200 ml white wine
  • 300 ml beef stock
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 tablespoons double cream
  • 600 g spaghetti
  • parmesan cheese, to serve
  • sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • vegetable oil, for frying


  1. Place a large pot or casserole over a high heat and add 2 tablespoons of olive oil. When the pan is hot, add the bacon lardons and cook, stirring occasionally, until just starting brown. Peel and finely dice the onions, garlic and celery. Add to pan with the bacon and turn the heat down low. Cook gently for 15-20 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. Peel and chop the carrots into small dice and add to the pan. Cook for a further 5 minutes.

  2. Now add the beef mince, pork mince and sausage meat to the pan. Turn the heat up to high and stir until all the meat is browned and well mixed. Add the tomato purée, white wine and stock, along with a good pinch of cracked black pepper, the thyme and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, then leave barely simmering, uncovered, for about 3 hours, until the meat is very tender and the sauce is intense and rich. If need be, add more stock if the sauce is becoming too dry. Taste and season with more salt and pepper if it needs.

  3. Cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions, and just before serving, stir the double cream into the sauce. You can either mix all of the spaghetti into the sauce or serve it with the sauce on top of the pasta. Serve with grated parmigiano cheese and a nice big fresh salad.