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healthy meal prep ideas for weight loss

The Best Bolognese Sauce Recipe

Serve this delicious meat sauce with any pasta to enjoy!
5 from 25 votes
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 1 hr 15 mins
Total Time 1 hr 30 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 portions
Calories 439 kcal


  • 1 tablespoon Olive Oil
  • 1 Small Carrot
  • 1 Onion any colour
  • 1 Celery Stick
  • 10 g Garlic
  • 500 g Ground Beef 5% Fat Minced Beef
  • ½ teaspoon Dry Parsley
  • 15 g Tomato Paste Tomato Puree
  • 1 Canned Tomato Tinned Chopped Tomato in Juice
  • ¼ teaspoon sugar (Optional: Needed if tomatoes are very acidic)
  • Black Pepper and Salt to Taste
  • 420 g Dry Spaghetti
  • 100 ml Red Wine (Optional: I used Cabernet Sauvignon) 3.5 oz


  • Peel the carrot and chop it in cubes of about ¼ inch (5mm in size; wash and slice the celery stick, the onion, and crush or mince the garlic, as preferred.
  • In a large pan, which has a lid, put the olive oil and, once warm, add the chopped garlic, onion, carrots, and celery; mix well and keep on a low-medium flame for a couple of minutes, then add salt and pepper to taste, mix again and put the lid on the pan. Allow the soffritto (or sofrito) to cook for about 5 minutes on a low flame, or until the onions and celery turn golden, the carrots start to soften and the rawness of the garlic has gone.
  • Once the soffritto is ready, put the flame to medium-high and, without the lid start adding the ground beef; try and break it down as much as possible, so you’ll be able to brown it properly and fry it in the olive oil and its own fat. Once all the meat is added, mix the beef well and keep on stirring gently until all of it has browned.
  • OPTIONAL: Once all the minced beef has browned, add the red wine and mix well; keeping the sauce on a medium-low flame, allow the wine to evaporate.
  • Once the wine has evaporated (or all the ground beef has browned if skipping that step), add the tomato paste and mix well. Allow the tomato paste to gently fry for a couple of minutes before proceeding to the next step.
  • At this point add the tin of canned tomato plus 400ml of water, bring to the boil, then bring the flame down to low.
  • OPTIONAL: Add the sugar, stir well once more, and put the lid back on the pan. This step is necessary only if the tomato sauce or puree are acidic.
  • Ideally, you will be simmering this for at least one hour on a low flame, during which time you will occasionally stir to ensure the sauce doesn’t dry up or stick (depending on how low your low-flame is).
  • Remove the lid from the saucepan and allow to continue simmering to bring to the desired consistency. At this stage you can also adjust the levels of salt and add some chopped herbs, if wanted. I, personally, add a bit of parsley sometimes.
  • Once you are about 20 minutes away from the sauce being ready, put a large pan of water to boil and once the water boils, add the salt and spaghetti and mix well straight away.
  • Cook the spaghetti for as long as it says on the package (this will mainly depend on the size of the spaghetti – more of this in notes).
  • Once the spaghetti are al dente, drain them quickly, without over-draining them, and add them to the saucepot.
  • Mix well the spaghetti and the sauce, divide into six plates and enjoy!



  • Meat: if mixing different types of ground meat, add it and brown it all at the same time. 
  • Water or broth: water will be perfect for cooking the sauce, but should you prefer to use stock or broth, chose one that works with the ground meat chosen. 
  • Wine: for this recipe I used Cabernet Sauvignon, however other red wines, such as Rioja or Shiraz, will work well too. Feel free to use red cooking wine instead if you have it. 
  • Herbs: Make this recipe your own by using your favorite herbs and spices; good options are thyme, rosemary, red pepper flakes, or basil. 
  • Storage: you can store this Bolognese sauce in the fridge for up to three days in an airtight container. 


Calories: 439kcalCarbohydrates: 59gProtein: 23gFat: 10gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 43mgSodium: 156mgPotassium: 599mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 1795IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 57mgIron: 3mg
Keyword beef bolognese, healthy spaghetti, spaghetti, traditional spaghetti bolognese recipe, weight loss recipe
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