Spaghetti Alla Bolognese

Recipe from What's For Lunch, Honey?


2 onions, finely chopped
1 garlic, finely chopped
1 medium sized carrot, finely chopped
1 leek, finely chopped
50g pancetta, finely chopped
3 springs each - thyme, oregano and basil, finely chopped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
400g ground beef - not too lean or else the ragu will get too dry
2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
1/8 liter stock - vegetable or beef
Salt and pepper
Nutmeg, ground
1 bay leaf
1-2 cloves
425 ml can of tomatoes


400g fresh pasta - spaghetti or tagliatelle
40g parmesan cheese, grated


In a large heavy pan heat the oil and sauté the ground beef, breaking up the beef with a spatula - approx. 5 minutes. Add the pancetta, onions, garlic and vegetables into the pan and continue to sauté for a further few minutes. Salt and pepper to taste.  

Mix in the tomato paste and cook for a minute. Pour in the stock and add the bay leaf, cloves, thyme and canned tomatoes including the juice. Bring everything to a rolling boil then reduce heat and simmer for 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Cook pasta according to the instructions on the packet.

Add the basil and oregano to the ragu, which should have nicely thickened by now.

Remove from heat. Put the pasta in a large bowl and pour the ragu over the pasta. Toss well. Serve in deep plates with a good sprinkling of parmesan cheese.


  • Make a double portion of this ragu and use it to make a scrumptious lasagne.
  • Buying pasta that is a bit rough will help the ragu to coat it well. Look out on the packet for pasta that is formed in copper forms. Pasta produced in such forms is the traditional way pasta is made. Pasta made in plastic forms produces a smoother pasta which causes the sauce to simply slide off.