Monday, November 14, 2022


Today's recipe came from Carlsbad Cravings hosted by Jen.  Jen lives in Carsbad, California, in north San Diego.  You can find the original recipe at this link.

30 Minute Weeknight Spaghetti Blognese - serves 4 to 6

For the Bolognese Sauce, I doubled up on all ingredients as I wanted to make enough to freeze several meals. Below is the amount for one batch of Bolognese Sauce, not the 2 that I made:

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 medium carrot, finely chopped*

1 stalk celery, finely chopped*

4 garlic cloves, minced

1 14 oz. can crushed tomatoes

1 24 oz. jar quality marinara sauce (recommend Raos brand)

1 1/2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons dried basil

2 teaspoons chicken bouillon

1/2-1 teaspoon sugar (to taste)

1 tsp each salt, dried oregano, dried parsley

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/4-1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes. (optional)

Add later:

1/4 cup heavy cream (optional and not something I added)

Fresh parsley for garnish

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Cook spaghetti al dente according to the package directions. Reserve ½ cup pasta water before draining, in case you need to thin your sauce later. 

Toss drained spaghetti with a little olive oil to keep the noodles from sticking to each other.

Heat 1 tablespoons olive oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. 

Add meat, onions, carrots and celery and cook until meat is browned.

Add garlic and sauté 30 seconds. 

Drain off any excess grease if needed.

Stir in all of the remaining “Bolognese Sauce” ingredients up to the heavy cream (if using) and bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer. 

Simmer gently uncovered for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add heavy cream (if using) and continue to simmer 5 minutes or until sauce reaches desired consistency. 

If you like a thinner sauce, stir in a little of the reserved pasta water a little at a time.  (We found we liked the spaghetti sauce without any added water

Serve Bolognese Sauce over spaghetti and garnish with plenty of Parmesan and sprigs of Parsley.

This bolognese sauce was excellent.  We made it with the recommended Raos brand of Marinara Sauce (from original recipe).  My Dear Other Half thought it added more flavor.  As luck would have it a lady was picking up a jar at the same time as us, and when we asked she recommended it highly. She said she and her daughter don’t use anything else, so that was a good enough recommendation for me.

We used no cream and substituted 2% milk.  

We did not need to use any pasta water to thin the sauce out.  

I have tried making a lot of spaghetti sauces over the years, but it's been a long time since I put one together.  Dear Other Half asked if we could have Spaghetti Bolognese a few days ago.  I browsed through several recipes online, and this not only sounded very good but was easy and fast.  We got the ingredients today (made this on 11-2-22).  

I already had several ingredients, prepared the vegetables earlier and got everything else measured out.  It made it a snap to make and was on the table in the 30 minutes stated.  It also freezes well (see below), and I made a double batch for several meals.

Jen explained that "Bolognese is named after the cooking style in Bologna, Italy. Bolognese Sauce is thick and meaty, simmered with minced onions, carrots and celery, and often enhanced with wine, milk or celery.  We did not have any wine and I tend to stay away from too much dairy these days.  It was delicious without.  She added that if you are looking for a tomato-ey, liquidy sauce more marinara-style, this is not it."  

I recommend reading the original recipe as there is added information that I don't always put on my recipe blog post.  Plus, the fact that you can look at all the other great recipes.

Spaghetti Bolognese will last up to 5 days in a sealed container in the fridge.  You could make this the day before and it only gets better. 

The sauce freezes well.  Let the sauce cool completely before putting in freezer-proof containers.  I usually split each serving into 2 cup containers, and one container is enough for the two of us. It freezes up to 3 months.  Thaw out overnight and gently heat in a pan on top of the stove.

We always use Angel Hair Pasta.  I thought of making a ziti casserole with the sauce, and a few other Italian dishes it would go with.

It tasted wonderful with the grated Parmesan sprinkled over, and I grated extra and put it in the fridge in an airtight container for tomorrow's meal.  I suggested we toast Garlic bread under the broiler using the Parmesan. 

We will also make a fresh spinach salad.

Thanks for looking, have a great week 

and Buon appetito!


  1. I have a couple recipes for this, and will be interested to see how this one tastes!

  2. Meat sauce is the best! Yours turned out really great.

    1. Thank you Angie, it was a very nice variation :)

  3. Looks good and a nice recipe too. So many different ways to cook the Bolognese as in recipes.

  4. Hooray for making enough to enjoy over several meals.

  5. mouth is watering!! I love pasta & Italian food!!

    1. It's one of our favorites too, and hubby particularly loves pasta.

  6. Sounds good to me. Have a good week, Diane

    1. Thank you Diane, and you have a good week also :)

  7. Hello,
    Looks delicious, I love pasta and the leftovers. Take care, have a great new week!

    1. We are having leftovers today Eileen, chicken and dumplings made a couple of days ago, it only gets better :) You take care and have a great new week also :)

  8. Sounds delicious. I was wondering what the difference was between this and just a regular spaghetti sauce. Thanks for answering that.

    1. You are very welcome Ann, I was curious too :) Thank you!

  9. this sounds divine!! i would use cream because we can, and i like how it cuts the "tomatoey" taste just a little!! def going to try!!! and we love rao's sauce, they make gift baskets if you need a christmas gift for anyone.

    1. Wonderful Debbie, I will check that website out for sure. I wish I could have cream. It makes things so much yummier. Alas, cream and I don't get along :)

  10. You have inspired me to make pasta with meatballs and tomato-basil sauce tonight!!!

    1. That sounds wonderful Gigi, glad I gave you the inspiration :)

  11. This sauce looks great. The addition of balsamic vinegar and chicken bouillon is interesting. I'm sure my guys would love it as pasta dishes make them happy. Thank you, Denise.

    1. My guy too Martha Ellen :) and you are very welcome :) thank you!

  12. That sounds like a fabulous sauce!

    1. We thought so, I'm glad you have the same feeling :) Thanks Jeanie!


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