Slow Cooked Bolognese

This is a hearty, delicious dinner that’s really quick to put together and can be left to simmer away for a few hours while you get on with your day – ideal now that we’re spending so much time at home! It has lots of veggies but isn’t too chunky if you have little mouths to feed. The sauce can also be blended until smooth it you prefer before adding the minced beef.

This recipe uses dried herbs because I couldn’t justify going to the shop for basil – but if you do have fresh basil by all means use it!

This recipe serves two – double up as needed.


  • 230g minced beef

  • Half a carrot, peeled and diced

  • 1 small onion, diced

  • 2 garlic cloves, diced

  • 1/4 red pepper, diced

  • 1/4 yellow pepper, diced

  • 10 – 15 cherry tomatoes chopped (or 2 large tomatoes / 1/4 tin of tomatoes if this is what you have)

  • 1 pint beef stock (*see step 4 below)

  • 125ml red wine

  • 2 tablespoons tomato purée

  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano

  • 1 teaspoon dried basil

  • 170g spaghetti


  • Heat a little olive oil and butter in a large pot over low – medium heat. Add the onion and a pinch of salt and cook for a few minutes until the onions have softened.
  • Add the diced peppers and carrot and cook for another few minutes. Then add the tomatoes and leave to cook for around 5 minutes until softened. Add the diced garlic, stir for 30 seconds and then add the minced beef and cook until completely browned.
  • Add the tomato purée, beef stock, red wine, oregano, basil and a pinch of salt and pepper. Bring up to the boil then reduce the heat, put a lid on the pot, and leave to simmer gently over low heat, stirring every now and then to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom, until the sauce has reduced and thickened.
  • If you can, leave to cook for 3 hours. Otherwise cook for at least 1.5 hours but only add half the beef stock. Keep an eye on the sauce as it simmers, adding more stock as necessary.
  • When ready, cook the spaghetti according to the packet instructions. Drain thoroughly and then mix 1 spoon of the bolognese sauce through the pasta. Portion out the spaghetti onto plates / bowls and spoon the sauce over the top. Serve with fresh grated parmesan.

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