Italian-Australian spaghetti bolognese recipe

Jill Dupleix
The can't-be-beat, benchmark Australian-Italian spag bol.
The can't-be-beat, benchmark Australian-Italian spag bol. Photo: William Meppem

Few dishes give us so much bang for our buck, as the richly meaty sauce combines with the acidity of the tomato, the sweetness of the vegetable soffrito, the slippery pasta and the snowfall of grated cheese. This makes a lot of sauce, so set some aside to freeze for another meal.


3 tbsp olive oil

200g bacon rashers, diced

2 medium onions, diced

2 celery stalks, sliced

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced

1kg beef, minced (or 600g beef/400g pork)

2 garlic cloves, grated

2 tsp plain flour

250ml white wine

2 x 400g tinned tomatoes

2 tbsp tomato paste

2 tsp sugar

2 anchovies, chopped

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp thyme leaves

1 tsp dried oregano

good grating of nutmeg

sea salt and black pepper

500ml stock or water

400g tagliatelle, penne, cavatelli or spaghetti

2 tbsp roughly chopped parsley, 1 tbsp butter, and 100g parmigiano to serve


1. Heat two tablespoons oil in a large heavy frypan. Add bacon, onions, celery and carrots and fry, stirring, for 10 minutes until softened. Tip into a bowl and set aside.

2. Add remaining one tablespoon olive oil to the pan and fry the beef and garlic until browned. Scatter with flour, then stir it through and cook for one minute, stirring. Add wine, bring to the boil and boil for three minutes, stirring.

3. Return the vegetables to the pan, and add tomatoes, tomato paste, sugar, anchovies, bay leaves, thyme, oregano, nutmeg, sea salt and pepper and stock or water, and bring to the boil.

4. Reduce to a simmer, cover and simmer for two hours, stirring every 20 minutes, until the sauce is rich, thick and glossy.

5. Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water until al dente and drain. Toss with sauce and serve in warm pasta plates. Top with parsley and butter, and serve with parmigiano for grating.

10 ways to upgrade your spaghetti bolognese

Or try Jill's mushroom and lentil bolognese as a meat-free alternative.

Find more of Jill Dupleix's recipes in the Good Food Favourite Recipes cookbook.

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