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Basic Bolognaise Sauce

Danielle Colley
Danielle Colley

If you think your Bolognaise sauce is perfect as it is, you might want to give this one a go just to be sure. It is a double batch recipes that allows you to freeze half and recreate into another dish later. Great for busy families who don't want to eat the same things every night.

Basic Bolognaise Sauce
Basic Bolognaise Sauce Photo: Danielle Colley


1kg beef mince

1 large onion, finely diced

3 cloves garlic

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

2 tins chopped tomatoes

4 tablespoons tomato paste

2 bay leaves, fresh or dried

400ml beef stock

1/2 cup white wine (optional)

1 tablespoon dried mixed herbs

1 tablespoon dried basil

salt and pepper to taste

olive oil 

spaghetti for serving

parmesan cheese for serving


1. Add a good glug of olive oil to a heavy based fry pan over a medium heat and wait until it’s nice and hot before adding your onions.

2. Stir onions until translucent and then toss in your garlic, stirring well.

3. When your garlic is nice and fragrant, throw in your vegetables and give a quick stir until just softened.

4. Add your mince, and keep moving it around until it is browned. You need to be careful not to stew it, so if you get a lot of liquid, increase your heat.

5. When browned, add your herbs and chuck in your tinned tomatoes, and tomato paste stirring well to combine.

6. Add your stock, bay leaves and wine and season liberally.

7. Get it up to a simmer, reduce the heat to low, and pop a lid just over it leaving a small gap for steam to escape. You want it to reduce but not too fast.

8. Leave for about an hour, checking to ensure it doesn’t reduce too far. If it gets too dry, you can add a little water, pop the lid on completely and keep that delicious pot of goodness bubbling away.

9. When your Bolognaise is ready, stick a large pot of water onto the stove to boil and cook your pasta as per the instructions on the packet.

10. Serve with Parmesan cheese and a large glass of vino for the adults. Just to honour the way the Italians do it, of course.


Danielle is a writer, a mother, a photographer, a lover of great food, and a drinker of much wine.
Her third cook book, Cook Once Feed All,  takes the guess work out of feeding your family with recipes that the whole family will enjoy together; from small fries to big mouths. You can find more of Danielle’s fabulous recipes on her blog Keeping Up With The Holsbys, or purchase Cook Once Feed All online now.


Family meals


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