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Spaghetti Bolognese is one of my favourite meals. My mum use to make it for dinner, at least weekly and she would serve it with garlic bread. I find It an easy and quick meal to make when travelling and at home. Like all my favourite travelling recipes it uses limited utensils and ingredients to make. And it is healthy too! Here is my easy, cheap, fast and fabulous Spaghetti Bolognese.


Is it Bolognaise or Bolognese?


For most of my life I knew this recipe as being Spaghetti Bolognaise. It was only when I went travelling that I learnt Bolognaise is French and the true Italian name is Bolognese. So now I call this recipe Spaghetti Bolognese as I feel it is more Italian than French.


Where Did Spaghetti Bolognese Originate?


It is believed Bolognese sauce originated from Bologna and the surrounding towns in Southern Italy where many tomatoes are grown. This is why Bolognese sauce is rich with tomatoes.


What are the Main Ingredients in Spaghetti Bolognese?


In Italy Bolognese sauce is known as Ragu sauce which is a meat-based sauce with finely chopped onion and tomatoes. After the meat and onion have been braised you can add some spices and wine if you like, then either tomato paste or freshly chopped tomatoes. I have read that many Italians add milk to the recipe which makes the meat very tender and causes a more orange rather than red sauce colouring. A pinch of sugar can also be added as the sugar cuts the acidity of the tomatoes creating a more balanced sauce. This is all then slow cooked for a couple of hours. 


Ingredients Required in My Recipe for Spaghetti Bolognese?


As you know, tomatoes are one of the main ingredients of this recipe. Lucky when you travel, you will find many markets where you can buy freshly grown tomatoes. The next ingredient is mince meat. For variety, sometimes I buy lamb, pork or even chicken mince over beef. I usually travel with some dried herbs otherwise I look for fresh oregano to throw in my sauce. Lastly I like to chop a small onion. 


Is there a Vegetarian Spaghetti Bolognese Option?


Definitely yes, you can make vegetarian Bolognese Sauce. I find zucchini (courgette) is a great meat replacement. 


What Pasta is Best to Use in Spaghetti Bolognese?


Traditionally, the Bolognese sauce was used to dress a bowl of tagliatelle pasta, however, I find you can use any pasta. When my kids were little it was a very messy meal at times with the ‘long’ pasta so I often used spirals, shells or penne – I would mix it up. 


Can You Put Cheese On Top of Your Spaghetti Bolognese?


I do. I love grated Parmesan on top of all my pasta dishes. Parmesan just adds zing to any dish. If you don’t have Parmesan then a strong flavoured cheese will suffice.


How long does Spaghetti Bolognese Take to Cook?


The time Spaghetti Bolognese takes to cook will depend on what kind of tomatoes you add. If you use fresh tomatoes, chopped, they will need an hour or so to soften and melt into the sauce. Using a pre-made sauce, you could have a great sauce within 20-30 minutes.


If you only have One Pot, Can You Cook the Pasta in the Sauce?


Yes, is the answer to that question. You will need to add a little extra liquid for the pasta to absorb so it softens. Mostly, though, I prefer to boil my pasta in one pot and make the sauce in another. But when you travel, it will depend on what utensils you have available as to which cooking method you can use.


How Long Does it Take to Make Spaghetti Bolognese?


It takes an easy 10 minutes to prepare and about 30 minutes to cook. So all up, about 40 minutes until eating.


Here’s My Quick and Easy Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe



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