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Restaurant Style Spaghetti Bolognese

5 from 16 votes
Published on 04/18/2024 by Umamiology
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Spaghetti Bolognese is the most classic of Italian pastas. With a hearty tomato and meat sauce boasting strong accents of basil and parmesan cheese, this recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese is one of the richest red pastas you’ll ever have.

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If you ever want to know how good an Italian restaurant is, you always try their Spaghetti Bolognese. Every good Italian restaurant knows how to master this timeless pasta dish – and in this recipe, I’ll show you exactly how they make it.

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The sauce for Spaghetti Bolognese starts with a good quality ground meat, pan-seared until deliciously brown and then simmered with aromatic vegetables like basil, onions, garlic and carrots in a luscious and tangy tomato sauce.

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The best part about this recipe is that it’ll taste amazing whether you plate it for a fancy date night at home, or pack it for your kid’s lunch at school. No matter when and how you eat this pasta, it’ll always deliver that warm and rich tomato-basil pasta flavor.

What Is Spaghetti Bolognese?

Spaghetti Bolognese (also known as spaghetti alla bolognese) is quite literally a pasta dish that smothers thin spaghetti noodles in a thick and rich bolognese ragù sauce (meat sauce).

It is typically the simplest and most classic dish that most Italian restaurants serve and it’s the one you want when you are just looking for that pure, quintessential spaghetti taste.

Key Elements Of This Recipe

  • Ground Sirloin Beef: Getting a good quality ground beef is crucial for this recipe – I recommend ground sirloin, either 90/10 or 80/20
  • Red Wine: Any full bodied red wine will do – it adds a bit of depth to the bolognese sauce flavor
  • Crushed TomatoesWhen buying canned crushed tomatoes, I’ve found that the Cento brand has the richest tomato taste
  • Fresh BasilWhen you add fresh basil at the end of the simmering process, the scent and flavor really shines through
  • Lemon JuiceAdd this at the end to brighten up your sauce

The Ingredients for Restaurant Style Spaghetti Bolognese

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The Equipment Needed

How To Make Spaghetti Bolognese

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Start by finely mincing your vegetables. Using a Cuisinart Food Processor is perfect for this step. Load your carrot, celery, garlic and onion into the food processor and blend using the chop mode on the device. Set aside once your vegetables are sufficiently diced and mixed.

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Then in your large sauce pan, add in your olive oil and brown your ground beef until it is about 75% cooked (we’ll finish it all the way when we simmer the sauce).

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Afterwards, add in your tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, salt, pepper and your minced vegetable mix from before and give everything a good mix. Let it simmer for a few minutes.

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Next add in your bay leaves, red wine and lemon juice and mix once more to make sure everything is incorporated. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

Cooking Your Pasta

While your sauce is simmering, take a pot and fill it with more water than the amount of pasta noodles you wish to cook. Lightly season with salt and bring to a boil.

Once the water is boiling, add in your pasta noodles, and boil for approximately 1 minute less than what the package direction says. (For example, if the package says to boil for 11 minutes, boil for 10 minutes instead. This will ensure that your pasta is cooked to that al dente doneness.)

Once boiled, promptly remove from heat, drain the water, and place the cooked noodles directly into the sauce pan with your simmering bolognese sauce.

Putting It All Together

Once you’ve got your spaghetti noodles in the sauce, give everything a vigorous mix (be careful not to wear white when you are doing this, or otherwise wear a protective apron).

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Pro Tip: Experienced Italian restaurants serve their spaghetti bolognese premixed, as opposed to simply layering the sauce on top of the noodles. The reason behind this is that when you mix the pasta and sauce, the sauce emulsifies and helps it to adhere to the noodles. The bolognese sauce becomes a sticky “paint” that coats the noodles homogenously so you don’t end up with a watery pasta.

Then plate you spaghetti by taking a large serving fork and swirling the noodles onto your serving plate.

Top with some fresh grated parmesan cheese & fresh basil and serve immediately. Enjoy!

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Restaurant Style Spaghetti Bolognese

5 from 16 votes
Spaghetti Bolognese is the most classic of Italian pastas. With a hearty tomato and meat sauce boasting strong accents of basil and parmesan cheese, this recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese is one of the richest red pastas you'll ever have.
Author: Umamiology
Servings: 4
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 24 minutes
Total Time: 29 minutes
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Ingredients 

Instructions 

How To Make Spaghetti Bolognese

  • Start by finely mincing your vegetables. Using a Cuisinart Food Processor is perfect for this step. Load your carrot, celery, garlic and onion into the food processor and blend using the chop mode on the device. Set aside once your vegetables are sufficiently diced and mixed.
  • Then in your large sauce pan, add in your olive oil and brown your ground beef until it is about 75% cooked (we'll finish it all the way when we simmer the sauce).
  • Afterwards, add in your tomato puree, crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, salt, pepper and your minced vegetable mix from before and give everything a good mix. Let it simmer for a few minutes.
  • Next add in your bay leaves, red wine and lemon juice and mix once more to make sure everything is incorporated. Let it simmer for about 15 minutes.

Cooking Your Pasta

  • While your sauce is simmering, take a pot and fill it with more water than the amount of pasta noodles you wish to cook. Lightly season with salt and bring to a boil.
  • Once the water is boiling, add in your pasta noodles, and boil for approximately 1 minute less than what the package direction says. (For example, if the package says to boil for 11 minutes, boil for 10 minutes instead. This will ensure that your pasta is cooked to that al dente doneness.)
  • Once boiled, promptly remove from heat, drain the water, and place the cooked noodles directly into the sauce pan with your simmering bolognese sauce.

Putting It All Together

  • Once you've got your spaghetti noodles in the sauce, give everything a vigorous mix (be careful not to wear white when you are doing this, or otherwise wear a protective apron).
  • Pro Tip: Experienced Italian restaurants serve their spaghetti bolognese premixed, as opposed to simply layering the sauce on top of the noodles. The reason behind this is that when you mix the pasta and sauce, the sauce emulsifies and helps it to adhere to the noodles. The bolognese sauce becomes a sticky "paint" that coats the noodles homogenously so you don't end up with a watery pasta.
  • Then plate you spaghetti by taking a large serving fork and swirling the noodles onto your serving plate.
  • Top with some fresh grated parmesan cheese & fresh basil and serve immediately. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 603kcalCarbohydrates: 66gProtein: 37gFat: 21gSaturated Fat: 7gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 11gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 78mgSodium: 3034mgPotassium: 1424mgFiber: 6gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 3820IUVitamin C: 21mgCalcium: 148mgIron: 6mg

*Nutritional information is just an estimate derived by an online calculation tool.

FAQ

What exactly is spaghetti bolognese?

Spaghetti Bolognese (also known as spaghetti alla bolognese) is quite literally a pasta dish that smothers thin spaghetti noodles in a thick and rich bolognese ragù sauce (meat sauce). It is typically the simplest and most classic dish that most Italian restaurants serve and it’s the one you want when you are just looking for that pure, quintessential spaghetti taste.

What is the difference between bolognese sauce and spaghetti sauce?

Bolognese sauce is a type of spaghetti sauce, but it is one that contains and highlights ground meat. Spaghetti Bolognese is otherwise called pasta with meat sauce.

Can you make bolognese sauce with chicken?

Yes – you can make it with chicken or ground pork. If using chicken, avoid using chicken breast because it might get too dry in the cooking process. Try using chicken thighs instead.

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