Mama’s Spaghetti Bolognese

The temperature plummeted to 16 degrees today and it rained all day so it felt autumnal and made us stay snuggled in the flat this afternoon.

This kind of weather always makes me crave a slow cooked winter warmer dinner so with some beef mince in the fridge, I planned a lovely bolognese for both our dinners. My perseverance knows no bounds- goblin hasn’t eaten anything I’ve cooked him in over a week.

I know spag bol is a very ordinary dish but it’s generally a crowd pleaser and you can customise it however you please- though this attitude undoubtedly bothers many Italians (sorry!)….

Here’s what I used:

  • 500g Aberdeen Angus beef mince
  • 1 large onion
  • 3 small cloves of garlic
  • 1 can of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of baby carrots
  • Olive oil
  • Red wine
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Sprinkles of oregano
  • Sprinkles of rosemary
  • A squeeze of tomato ketchup
  • Fresh basil and Parmesan to serve
  • Pasta (I used gluten free spaghetti)
  • Lashings of black pepper


I started off browning the beef in a large pan with the chopped onions and crushed garlic.

After about 8 minutes I poured in about a quarter of a bottle of red wine. You can use whatever wine you fancy- though my motto is ‘if I wouldn’t drink it, I wouldn’t cook with it’. Using good wine with cooking is only good manners- using a crap cheap wine shows a lack of respect for the dish you’re cooking (in my opinion) and hampers the flavour.


As the beef and wine stewed together, I then added the carrots, tinned tomatoes, bay leaves, the herbs and the ketchup. Mixed it all up, brought it to the boil then turned the heat down and let it stew for a good 1 hour and 45 minutes.

I cooked up the pasta quickly as goblin was getting shouty and seemed peckish.


Once he’d had a few handfuls he got bored and wore the rest.

He did also decorate my kitchen floor most prettily with it. But I’m satisfied he ate some of it and I shall thoroughly enjoy the rest of it, with a large glass of that Rioja when I’ve put him to bed…

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