Please Pass the Recipe

sharing recipes from one generation to the next


Bol servedThe the man who cannot cook names this as his favourite week day meal, a reason to enjoy a glass of robust red wine with his dinner. According to local reports, Spaghetti with Bolognese Sauce is currently the most commonly prepared family meal in Australia, loved by young and old alike. In the right hands it is a rich, flavoursome and nutritious meal but poorly prepared imitations abound. It’s become a bit passé but a well prepared sauce, top quality pasta cooked al dente, parmagiana reggiano grated at the table, a dressed salad of mixed  leaves and a glass of good red wine can elevate this robust dish beyond the commonplace.

1 medium onion, finely diced

1 large carrot, finely diced

2 sticks of celery, finely diced

125g portobello mushrooms, sliced

2 tablespoons olive oil

500g minced steak, best quality

180mls of red wine

2 x 400g chopped tomatoes

2 heaped tablespoons of tomato concentrate

1 heaped teaspoon each dried thyme, dried basil, dried oregano

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

½ cup water or stock

Freshly ground black pepper, salt, sugar

Dice the vegetables. Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the vegetables, reduce the heat and cover. Sweat the vegetables for about 20 minutes until they are translucent. Increase the heat, add the meat to the pan and brown thoroughly, breaking the lumps of meat apart with the back of a wooden spoon. Once the meat is well browned, deglaze the pan with the wine, then add the tomatoes, tomato concentrate, herbs and water. Return to the boil, then simmer uncovered for 1 hour stirring occasionally. Taste the sauce and season with salt, pepper and a little sugar to suit your palate. The amount of seasoning will depend on the tomatoes.

This can be served immediately but will improve overnight in the fridge. Chilling will also give you the benefit of being able to lift any surface fat off easily.

Cook your choice of pasta according to the instructions on the packet. Drain then top portioned  cooked pasta with a generous serve of sauce. Pass the grated parmesan cheese.


About ladyredspecs

I live in sunny Brisbane, Australia. My love of good food drives me as a cook, a reader, a traveller, an artist and but mostly as an eater. I cooked professionally for many years but have no formal training. Simply guided by a love of eating good food, respect for ingredients and an abhorrence of artificial additives, I cook instinctively applying the technical know how acquired by experience. I hope you enjoy what I share Sandra AKA ladyredspecs


  1. StefanGourmet
    May 29, 2013

    This is a nice ragù and you are absolutely right that a recipe like this will elevate the dish to something really nice.
    Have you ever tried to do a bolognese like it’s traditionally made in Bologna? This means adding milk, no herbs, no garlic, no mushrooms, and longer simmering.


    • ladyredspecs
      May 29, 2013

      No, I’ve never made ragu with milk. Over the years the ingredients I use have varied enormously, but never milk. I should try it. Thanks for the suggestion


  2. Pingback: Lasagne Bolognese | Please Pass the Recipe

  3. Pingback: Up to my neck in tomatoes « Please Pass the Recipe

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This entry was posted on April 10, 2012 by in Beef, Food, Light Savoury Dishes, Main Meals, Pasta and tagged , , , .
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