Make-it-easy bolognese

  • Serves 4
  • Takes 10-15 minutes to make, 40-45 minutes to cook
  • Easy
This simple bolognese recipe is proper comfort food and it's cheap.

Nutritional info per serving

  • Calories408kcals
  • Fat26g (7.5g saturated)
  • Protein32.8g
  • Carbohydrates11.2g (8.1g sugar)
  • Salt0.7g
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[Total: 2 Average: 2.5]
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  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 500g lean beef mince
  • 6 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
  • 1 large onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 2 x 400g tins chopped plum tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp ready-made basil pesto (we like Sacla)
  • 30g mature Cheddar, finely grated
  • Freshly cooked spaghetti to serve 


  1. In a large saucepan, heat the oil over a high heat and add the mince. Cook for 6-7 minutes until golden brown. Turn the heat to medium, add the garlic and onion, then cook for 5 minutes more with the lid on.
  2. Add the tomato purée, stir well, then add the tinned tomatoes and cook for 15-20 minutes. Just before serving, add the pesto, taste and adjust the seasoning. Add a generous sprinkling of Cheddar and you are there. Serve with spaghetti, cooked and drained according to the packet instructions.
  • Next time around, try these ideas: 1. For cottage pie, spoon your bolognese sauce into an ovenproof dish and top with mashed potato. Bake in the oven at 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6 for 30 minutes until bubbling. 2. Make a chilli. When frying the onion, add 2 tsp each of ground cumin and coriander, plus a pinch of chilli flakes. Drain and rinse a tin of red kidney beans and stir through for the last 10 minutes of cooking. Serve with rice or jacket potatoes.
  • You can freeze the sauce before adding the pesto and cheese. It will keep for up to 3 months. Defrost in the fridge, then finish the recipe.

From October 2010

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