Spaghetti bolognese

This basic mince sauce can be used in many ways and is perfect for a mid-week meal.

Ready in

1 hour 30 mins

Serving size

Serves 6


  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) sunflower oil
  • 500 g lean beef mince
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 celery stalk with leaves, chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
  • 1 green pepper, seeds removed and chopped
  • 2 carrots, grated
  • 2 tsp (10 ml) each dried thyme and mixed herbs
  • 1 x 410 g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp (15 ml) tomato paste
  • 2 tbsp (30 ml) chutney
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) salt
  • lemon juice and black pepper to taste
  • 300 g spaghetti


  1. Heat 1 tsp of the oil in a frying pan and fry mince until browned. Spoon out and drain excess fat.
  2. Heat another 1 tsp of the oil in the same pan and fry onion, celery, garlic and green pepper for a few minutes.
  3. Add carrots, herbs, tomatoes, tomato paste, chutney and ½ tsp salt with meat. Reduce heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 30-45 minutes.
  4. Season well with lemon juice and pepper.
  5. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to the boil. Add pasta and the remaining ½ tsp salt. Cook until tender and drain well. Stir in the remaining 1 tsp oil.
  6. Serve warm pasta with mince sauce.


  1. To bulk up the mince, add cubes of butternut or brinjal with the carrots or stir in a tin of baked beans in tomato sauce.
  2. Fresh or dried herbs like basil, rosemary and origanum are delicious with mince.
  3. Lasagne: Prepare a white sauce and layer with the mince and lasagne sheets or noodles. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
  4. Curry mince: Add ½ tbsp curry powder and ½ tsp each ground cumin and coriander to the onions.

Spaghetti bolognese video

Homemade lasagne video

Many ways with mince

A basic mince recipe, like this bolognese, is so versatile and can be used in many different ways.

Many ways with mince infographic

This recipe is from Cooking from the heart, 1st edition

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