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Spaghetti Bolognese

February 3, 2009

If you asked me and my husband what our all-time favorite comfort food was, we would say in unison that it was spaghetti bolognese. Not the fancy-pants $30 Italian restaurant variety – but the homey variety. And after many rounds of experimentation, I’ve finally nailed down a formula that we both love.

It’s based in part on a recipe I found on, which was provided by Holland House. (Naturally, the recipe asks that you use Holland House Red Cooking Wine. But it’s really quite good so I don’t mind that much…)

Anyway, here’s my take on the recipe:


INGREDIENTS (2 big servings!)

  • 3oog minced beef, rinsed
  • Half a medium onion, chopped
  • 1 medium carrot, chopped
  • 1 stalk of celery, chopped
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 cup Holland House® Red Cooking Wine
  • 1 can of tomatoes, diced (use an Italian brand of tomatoes if possible, and drain some of the juice away so the sauce doesn’t get too runny)
  • 1 can tomato paste
  • 2-4 tbsp tomato ketchup (adjust qty to taste)
  • Oregano
  • 180 g spaghetti, cooked


1. Cook spaghetti, leave aside. (Thaw beef in the microwave and chop vegetables while the spaghetti is cooking.)
2. Cook onion, carrot and celery over medium heat for 2-3 minutes.
3. Add beef and cook for another 3 minutes till meat is cooked.
4. Add milk and simmer until almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.
5. Add red cooking wine and simmer about 3 minutes.
6. Add canned tomatoes, tomato paste and tomato ketchup. Simmer about 10-15 minutes until sauce is thick.
7. Mix lots of oregano into sauce.
8. Serve with cooked spaghetti.

The original recipe included using beef bouillon cubes but that made the sauce painfully salty. And I added ketchup to the list of ingredients because it adds that final kick that takes the recipe from pleasant to terrific.

The whole exercise should take you about 35-40 minutes. If you’re the sort who plans ahead than chop your vegetables the day before and keep ’em in the refrigerator to save yourself the scramble on the actual day.

Here is a picture of two of the ingredients that may have sounded foreign:

Spaghetti Bolognese Ingredients

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