Cuisine - Spag bol

By: Nicole Wilson

Most of us know ragu alla Bolognese as spaghetti Bolognese or simply ‘spag bol’ – though traditionally Bolognese sauce is served with a thicker, ribbon pasta such as tagliatelle. But as with many recipes, through sharing across cultures and handing down through families, there are often tweaks and changes to the traditional, original versions. This is my version of a Bolognese sauce. As usual for my cooking, there is just as much or more vegetables as there is meat in the dish. The thing I love about Bolognese is that you just mix everything in the pan and let it simmer away until all the flavours combine into mouth-watering joy.

Ragu alla Bolognese

2-3 tbsp olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
6-8 button mushrooms, finely chopped
2 stick celery, finely chopped
1 carrot, grated    
500g mince (this can be beef, pork, chicken, venison or lamb)
1 tin crushed tomatoes in juice
4 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp mixed dried herbs    
1 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
1 tsp sugar            
¼ cup wine or stock
Salt and pepper
1 packet spaghetti, or whatever shape you favour (either fresh or dried)
Parmesan cheese, grated (optional)

Heat the oil in a large pan over a moderately high heat. Cook the onion, garlic, mushrooms, celery and carrot until the vegetables are all softened (not browned), add the mince and brown the meat. Stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, tamari, sugar and wine. Lower the heat and simmer for at least 20 minutes to cook the meat through. Let the flavours all come together and the sauce reduce.  Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook the pasta as per the packet instructions. Serve the pasta topped with a generous dollop of the Bolognese sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Nicole Wilson, Nutritionist


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