Slow Cooked Spaghetti Bolognese

Spaghetti Bolognese has a delicious tomato based sauce, with Italian herbs and a little wine if you fancy. It’s left to slow cook all day letting all the flavours mingle.

image of spaghetti bolognese
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Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe

 This recipe probably doesn’t need much introduction! It’s a delicious combination of delicious minced beef, herbs, tomatoes and wine (if you like!) sat on a swirl of spaghetti and topped off with a generous grating of parmesan style cheese.

The beauty of this dish is that the sauce will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge and the flavours start to meld and mingle making it even tastier. It also can be used in lasagne or adapted slightly to become a chilli so it’s a wonderfully versatile dish.

Ingredients for Spaghetti Bolognaise

For the Tomato Sauce

  • Minced beef (it doesn’t really matter if you use 500g, 750g or a 1kg or any other amount. It’s very much an adaptable recipe. If you have less mince you’ll use less tomatoes or passata, and if you use more you’ll need more but it’s fine either way) 
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped, or a good shaking of frozen diced or sliced onion.
  • 1 tablespoonful of olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic, peeled and finely crushed (optional)
  • 1 small packet of smoked bacon lardons or diced pancetta (optional) 
  • 1 bottle of passatta (or 1 or 2 tins of chopped tomatoes depending how much mince you’re using)
  • Handful of button mushrooms, wiped with kitchen towel and sliced (optional)
  • 2 couple of sticks of celery, washed and finely chopped (optional)
  • Glass of wine (red or white are fine)
  • Dried thyme, rosemary, oregano, basil or some spicy italian seasoning (it’s like a pre-blend you can get from the same shelf as the dried herbs and spices) 
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Beef Stock cube (optional) 
  • Worcester Sauce (optional) 
  • Squirt of tomato purree (optional) 
  • Fresh Basil 

Freshly cooked Spaghetti, Freshly ground black pepper and parmesan cheese to serve 

Cooking Notes

If you have a Sear and Stew slow cooker with a metal removable pot that’s advertised as being suitable for use on the hob top, you can use that in place of a sauce pan.

 If your slow cooker is made out of ceramic, you’ll need to use a sauce pan and then transfer it. If in doubt please refer to your manufacturers instruction book.



Put the olive oil into a large saucepan (or slow cooker metal removable pot) and heat gently over a medium heat. Add the pancetta, onions, mushrooms and celery if using and stir gently until the onions go glossy and golden looking. 

Add in the mince and stir until it?s all nicely browned, add the garlic and stir

Once the mince is browned all over add a shaking of herbs into the mince mix and stir again. 

Add the tomato puree and wine if using and then add the passatta or chopped tomatoes and stir. It needs to almost cover the mince (but not completely cover it) If you?re using a stock cube add that in too and stir.

Add a shake of worcester sauce if liked, stir in.

Transfer everything into the slow cooker and cook on high if you’ve just got the afternoon or low if you’ve got all day. If you like it slightly thicker, you can always add a thickener towards the end of cooking (I normally stir in a few beef gravy granules but there are other methods of thickening too)

 Serve with freshly cooked spaghetti (follow instructions on packet) and some parmesan cheese if liked and some garlic bread


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