Recipe for the Week – Spaghetti Bolognese

12:01:00 pm

Before I begin, here’s a disclaimer – I have never been to Italy or eaten ‘authentic bolognese’ and so I make no claim regarding the authenticity of my recipe.

However, I can guarantee that all the ingredients are easily available in India and that it’ll taste super yum!!

Apparently, the original Italian version uses beef mince, bacon, red wine, carrots and celery and is customarily served with tagliatelle. Italian chefs are screaming bloody murder at the way the rest of the world has corrupted their beloved dish.

Tagliatelle with Bolognese Ragu - the true Italian way (Wikipedia)
Here, I have used chicken mince, grape juice, mushrooms and served it with spaghetti. Have I killed the original? Maybe, but only to bring forth another yummy dish :-).

I have tried a Bolognese quite a few times, from different recipes seen on websites and in magazines. This recipe is a combination of all of them; I like the end result, and hope you do too!

Note: I’ve tried this recipe with beef and chicken mince; either one is fine, although beef would require more cooking time.

What you’ll need: (3 servings)

2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic chopped
200 g onion chopped
250 g chicken or beef mince
1 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
65 ml grape juice (go for the ‘no added sugar’ variety)
300 g tomatoes chopped
75 g thick tomato sauce
½ tbsp honey
1 tbsp oregano
½ tsp paprika
½ tsp red chilli sauce (take it up to 1 tsp if you want fiery)
½ tsp freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste
100 g mushrooms chopped (you may substitute with carrots or celery if you like)

200 g spaghetti
½ tbsp butter
Grated Parmesan

What you’re going to do:

1. Heat a large saucepan and pour in the olive oil.

2. Add the garlic and fry for a few seconds. Take a whiff, that is a heavenly aroma.

3. Add the onions, a pinch of salt and keep stirring till they turn soft and transparent.

4. Add the mince. Fry it with the onions till the pinkness is gone and it’s turned all crumbly.

It should go from this:

to this:

5. Add the Worcestershire and chopped tomatoes. Cover and cook till the tomatoes are mushy.

6. Add the grape juice, tomato sauce, honey, paprika, red chilli sauce, pepper, oregano and salt. Mix well.

7. Cover and cook till the mince is cooked and the sauce is reduced and thick. Towards the end of cooking, when the sauce has just a little water left, add the mushrooms and cook again. The final sauce should not be watery.

8. Meanwhile, boil water with salt and cook the pasta as per package instructions.

9. Drain, rinse with cold water and drain again.

10. Melt some butter in a pan and fry the spaghetti in it for about a minute.

11. To serve, ladle some spaghetti on a plate and make a depression in the centre.

12. Pour some sauce onto the centre of the spaghetti bed and grate some Parmesan on top if you like. Garnish with fresh basil. (I skipped the Parmesan and basil here)


I think this sauce would go perfectly with a tubular pasta like penne as well, with all the meat filling up the pasta tubes.

This is my favorite pasta sauce of all, it is thick and meaty, with the right amount of spice, sweetness and tanginess – I could eat this for breakfast, lunch and dinner, every day!!


This recipe is a participant in the ‘Flavors of Cuisine – Italian’ event hosted by Priya at Priya’s Versatile Recipes, which is part of the Flavors of Cuisine series started by Julie at ErivumPuliyum.

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  1. Wow that looks delicious. I have been thinking of making bolognese for a while and your post has inspired me to go for it. Thanks!! :)

  2. You're welcome,Swapna!! Though it requires a few extra ingredients, it is really very little effort!

  3. LOOKS GOOD! It has made me hungry :)

  4. Wow superbly adapted recipe:-) will try it...

    1. Thank you!! Do let me know how it turns out :-)

  5. Ooo!!! but I love beef fab! This looks quite good and easy ! Damn its lunch time , I am hungry!!

    1. Go ahead and try beef - you'll get closer to the original recipe!! And it is easy, throw in all the ingredients, wait to simmer and then serve!!

  6. That is a really easy recipe and looks suuuuuuuuuperrrrrr yumm :D But what is Worcestershire Sauce??? Haven't heard of it.
    P.S. - Gave you the Liebster blog award :) Checkout the following link for more :)

    1. Thank you for the award, Swarnali!! And about the sauce, I quote Wiki: "....liquid condiment, primarily used to flavour meat or fish dishes". It's pretty widely available in most Indian supermarkets these days :-).