Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese must be one of the world's favourite dishes. This recipe is stolen from an old Italian man.

Sprinkled with a little Parmigiano or Romano cheese, served with a glass of wine or a beer, an authentic Bolognese sauce is a breeze to make and ideal camping fare.

The key to a deeply coloured, rich sauce is in the browning of the meat, the cooking of the tomato paste with the wine and if possible long, slow simmering.

Recipe (serves 4)

2 Tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil.

500g lean minced beef or a combination of minced beef and pork.

1 large brown onion, finely chopped.

2 large cloves of garlic finely minced.

2 tablespoons of tomato paste.

2 cups or 400g tin peeled chopped tomatoes.

½ Cup of red wine

½ Teaspoon of coarsely ground pepper

A good pinch of salt

2 tablespoons of chopped fresh parsley or ½ tablespoon dried.

1 tablespoon chopped fresh basil or ½ teaspoon dried.

1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or ½ teaspoon dried.

400g Spaghetti.



In a heavy based saucepan heat the olive oil to medium high.

Add garlic and sauté for 10 seconds – do not allow to brown.

Add onions and stir until they start to turn translucent.

Brown minced meat a tablespoon at a time, breaking it up and stirring.

Once each portion of mince is crumbled and browned, add the next.

Next add in the tomato paste and pepper and stir until it darkens without burning.

Pour in the wine and reduce until it has nearly evaporated.

Add the chopped tomatoes the salt and all the herbs.

Pour in a cup of water and bring to a boil.

Reduce the heat until sauce is simmering. Cook for at least 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. If you can manage 2 or 4 hours, then even better.

I often add a lot of water and cook the sauce down for as long as I can - reducing the consistency until it spoons nicely over the pasta.

Bring a large pot of water to the boil and add the spaghetti and a pinch of salt. Cook on a rolling boil until al dente. Al dente, as I’m sure everyone knows, means ‘to the tooth’ and is the consistency of firm not soft pasta. Drain and rinse the pasta in hot water and stir a tablespoon of butter through so each strand is separate.

Fork pasta onto plates, ladle with some Bolognese sauce, serve a salad and perhaps some bread, a generous shaving of cheese and you’re done.

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