Delicious Spaghetti Bolognese Recipe: A Classic Italian Dish

Are you tired of the same-old pasta and meat sauce dinner? Look no further! Spaghetti Bolognese with Red Wine is the perfect way to switch up your culinary routine. This classic Italian dish is a crowd-pleaser for any occasion, from family dinners to dinner parties.

One reason I love this recipe is its versatility. Don’t have ground beef? Sub in some ground turkey or pork for a twist on traditional bolognese. Want to make it vegetarian? Swap out the meat entirely for some hearty veggies like mushrooms and eggplant. The possibilities are endless!

But what sets this spaghetti bolognese apart is the addition of red wine to the sauce. Not only does it add depth and complexity to the flavor profile, but it also helps tenderize the meat and infuse it with rich, winey goodness.

So, grab your dutch oven and a bottle of your favorite red wine (for both cooking and sipping), and let’s get cooking!

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

Spaghetti Bolognese With Red Wine
Spaghetti Bolognese With Red Wine

Are you searching for a hearty and delicious meal that is perfect for family dinners or hosting friends? Look no further than this mouth-watering spaghetti bolognese recipe. Not only is it packed with flavor, but it’s also incredibly easy to make.

Now, I know what you’re thinking – why should I bother making my own spaghetti bolognese when there are so many pre-made options available at the grocery store? The answer is simple: homemade bolognese sauce beats store-bought sauce any day of the week.

This recipe uses a combination of ingredients that are guaranteed to leave your taste buds dancing – from juicy minced beef and aromatic garlic to savory prosciutto and rich red wine. And let’s not forget about the star of the dish – the sauce! Made with diced tomatoes, tomato paste, dried herbs, and of course, red wine, it’s the perfect balance of tangy and sweet.

Plus, by making your own sauce, you have full control over what goes into it – no mysterious preservatives or additives that you can’t pronounce. And trust me when I say that once you taste this sauce, you won’t settle for anything less.

But don’t just take my word for it – give this recipe a try and see for yourself why it’s a family favorite. Your kitchen will be filled with delicious aromas in no time as you serve up a plate of perfect spaghetti bolognese, topped with parmesan cheese and fresh parsley.

So what are you waiting for? Tie on your apron and get ready to create the best bolognese sauce you’ve ever tasted with this spaghetti bolognese recipe.

Ingredient List

 The secret ingredient in this Spaghetti Bolognese? Red wine! 🍷🍝
The secret ingredient in this Spaghetti Bolognese? Red wine! 🍷🍝

Here is a breakdown of everything you’ll need to create this delicious spaghetti bolognese with red wine:


  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 250 grams minced beef
  • 1 large red bell pepper, finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • 2 cups canned diced tomatoes (or homemade)
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (bordeaux wine works best)
  • 1/4 cup chopped prosciutto (optional)
  • Pinch of dried herbs (oregano, basil, thyme, rosemary)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • Fresh parsley leaves and grated parmesan cheese for topping
  • Spaghetti pasta for serving

Note: These are the base ingredients for a traditional bolognese sauce. However, there are substitution options available if you are unable to obtain some of these ingredients.

The Recipe How-To

 A hearty, satisfying dinner that's as easy to make as it is delicious. πŸ˜‹
A hearty, satisfying dinner that’s as easy to make as it is delicious. πŸ˜‹

Now, let’s get into the exciting part – how to make this delicious and hearty spaghetti bolognese with red wine! With just a few simple steps, you’ll have a traditional Italian meal that will satisfy your cravings.

Ingredient List

Before diving in, let’s review the ingredients you’ll need:

  • Spaghetti: The star of the show; use the best spaghetti you can find for optimal results.
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil: Use quality extra-virgin olive oil for added flavor.
  • 250 grams minced beef: Traditional bolognese sauce uses ground beef or a mixture of pork and beef.
  • 2 cups chopped tomatoes: You can also use diced tomatoes if that’s what you have on hand.
  • 2 tbsp tomato paste
  • Dried herbs: A combination of basil, oregano, thyme, and rosemary will work well.
  • 1 cup dry red wine: This is what sets this dish apart from other meat sauces. Use the best red wine that you can afford to get the most out of it in your Bolognese sauce.
  • Parmesan cheese and chopped fresh parsley, for serving

Now that we have all of our ingredients, it’s time to get cooking!

The Recipe How-To

  1. Heat olive oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, add in the finely chopped onion and sautΓ© it until softening before adding in the minced garlic*.

  2. Add in the spiced and seasoned minced beef with salt according to taste then cook it until browned. Break up any lumps using a fork or spatula.

  3. Pour in the canned diced or cannedchopped tomatoes, followed by the tomato paste and dried herbs.

  4. Add in the amazing ingredient of red wine to the mix and let it cook for a few minutes to allow the alcohol to burn off.

  5. Leave it all simmering on low heat for 30 – 40 minutes stirring occasionally until the bolognese sauce has thickened up and becomes more flavoursome.

  6. Cook spaghetti according to the package directions, then drain it before adding it into the pot with the bolognese sauce.

  7. Toss everything together until the spaghetti is well-coated with the tasty sauce.

  8. Serve hot and garnish with freshly chopped parsley and grated Parmesan cheese on top for an extra punch of Italian magic!

Substitutions and Variations

There are plenty of ways to make this recipe your own by switching out ingredients or adding new ones as per your taste preference:

  • Ground beef: You can substitute ground pork or use half beef/half pork.
  • Red wine: You can use white wine

Substitutions and Variations

 No need to break the bank on expensive wine for this recipe - a mid-range bottle will do just fine. πŸ’°πŸ·
No need to break the bank on expensive wine for this recipe – a mid-range bottle will do just fine. πŸ’°πŸ·

Are you looking to add your own touch to this classic spaghetti bolognese recipe? Here are some substitution options and variations that will surely get your creative juices flowing.

– Ground Beef: While minced beef is the traditional choice for bolognese sauce, you can also use ground pork or veal, or a mixture of different meats.

– Red Wine: Not a fan of red wine? You can use white wine instead, or skip the wine altogether and substitute it with chicken or beef broth.

– Olive Oil: Don’t worry if you don’t have olive oil on hand – any neutral oil like vegetable, canola, or sunflower oil can be used.

– Tomato Paste: If you don’t have tomato paste, you can use tomato sauce or canned diced tomatoes instead.

– Dried Herbs: While Italian seasoning is commonly used in bolognese sauce recipes, you can experiment with other dried herbs like thyme, oregano, and basil for added flavor.

– Prosciutto: Want to add a salty kick to your spaghetti bolognese? Use bacon or pancetta instead of prosciutto.

– Parmesan Cheese: If you don’t have parmesan cheese on hand, you can sprinkle on some pecorino romano or grated cheddar cheese as a tasty alternative.

Remember, the best bolognese is the one that suits your taste buds. So feel free to experiment with these variations until you find your perfect spaghetti bolognese recipe.

Serving and Pairing

 Let the wine reduce slowly to intensify the flavors of the sauce. πŸ…πŸ·
Let the wine reduce slowly to intensify the flavors of the sauce. πŸ…πŸ·

Spaghetti Bolognese with Red Wine is a satisfying meal that deserves a hearty serving on your plate. Serve the Spaghetti Bolognese in shallow bowls, and sprinkle some freshly grated parmesan cheese over the top. Garnish the Italian delicacy with fresh parsley to add color and flavor.

This recipe pairs perfectly with a glass of dry red wine, which also happens to be one of its ingredients. The wine complements the richness of the meat and adds another layer of depth to the dish.

If you prefer to pair this dish with white wine, opt for a full-bodied white such as Chardonnay, or Soave. If you want to try something different, experiment with a medium-bodied red wine such as Pinot Noir. The subtle fruit notes, light tannins and acidity of this wine create an interesting balance with the bolognese sauce.

For those who do not drink alcohol or are serving children, sparkling grape juice makes an excellent substitute for red or white wine.

Pairing Spaghetti Bolognese with garlic bread is a classic option, but if you want to switch things up try focaccia bread topped with herbs and olive oil. Sourdough toast, bruschetta or ciabatta make delightful alternatives too.

Eat every bite of the spaghetti bolognese alongside your preferred pairing to experience its truest taste at every forkful.

Make-Ahead, Storing and Reheating

 The acidity in the wine helps to brighten the flavors of the tomatoes and balance the richness of the meat. πŸ…πŸ₯©
The acidity in the wine helps to brighten the flavors of the tomatoes and balance the richness of the meat. πŸ…πŸ₯©

Nothing beats the convenience of being able to prepare meals ahead of time, especially when you’re busy or have a hectic schedule. Fortunately, this spaghetti Bolognese with red wine recipe is perfect for prepping and storing.

To make ahead, simply prepare the sauce until Step 4 of the recipe instructions. Let it cool completely before transferring it into an airtight container. You can store it in the fridge for up to 3 days or freeze it for up to 3 months. Thaw overnight and reheat before serving.

When reheating, you have several options. You can either use the microwave, which is the quickest method, or reheat it using the stovetop. If using the microwave, place the sauce in a microwave-safe bowl and heat on high for 1-2 minutes, stirring halfway through. If you’re reheating on the stove, transfer the sauce to a large pot and heat gently over low heat while stirring occasionally.

It’s important to note that reheating can dry out your pasta and make it mushy if not done correctly. Therefore, I recommend cooking fresh spaghetti separately from the sauce and adding it only when ready to serve.

Now that you know how to make-ahead, store and reheat this delicious spaghetti Bolognese with red wine recipe, you can easily enjoy a home-cooked meal without spending hours in the kitchen every day!

Tips for Perfect Results

 The perfect meal
The perfect meal

Now that you know how to make a mouth-watering Spaghetti Bolognese with Red Wine, it’s time to add some extra tips for the perfect results. When cooking this dish, there are some things that you can do to ensure that it comes out perfectly every time!

Firstly, don’t be afraid to add more seasoning if required. If the flavour of the sauce seems too bland or flat, add more herbs like oregano or basil or even a sprinkle of salt and pepper to enhance the taste.

Secondly, cook the minced beef slowly so that it remains tender and doesn’t turn rubbery. By cooking it gently on low heat, it will have time to fully absorb all the flavours from the sauce resulting in a rich-tasting dish.

Thirdly, use quality ingredients such as fresh parsley and parmesan cheese which will lift this dish up and bring an extra dimension of flavour. Additionally, make sure to use dry red wine as it has concentrated flavor which adds body and complexity to the sauce.

Fourthly, let the bolognese simmer for at least an hour so all ingredients can blend together well. It may take a bit of patience but trust me, it’s worth it! As time passes by, your kitchen will fill with the tantalizing smell of bolognese combined with red wine which would seem almost irresistible.

Fifthly, when cooking pasta always remember to use a large pot of salted boiling water. Add 1-2 tbsp of olive oil in order to prevent the pasta from sticking together. Once cooked, reserve some starchy pasta water and add it into your bolognese sauce in case you need to loosen the texture.

Finally, don’t overcook your spaghetti; aim for al dente texture where it’s perfectly cooked while remaining firm with a slight chewiness which is what makes Spaghetti Bolognese such a favourite. Follow these helpful tips and you’ll have the best Spaghetti Bolognese with Red Wine that can easily rival Jamie Oliver’s recipe!


Now that you know how to make the perfect spaghetti bolognese with red wine, I’m sure you have some questions. That’s why I’ve compiled a list of frequently asked questions to help you troubleshoot any issues and make substitutions if needed. So, let’s get started!

What does red wine do to bolognese?

When preparing bolognese sauce, the use of wine is crucial in extracting the full flavor from the herbs, meat, and tomatoes. This is because the phenolic compounds responsible for the aroma and taste of these ingredients are more soluble in alcohol than water. As a result, incorporating wine into the recipe enhances the overall flavor profile of the sauce.

Is it OK to use red wine in Bolognese?

When it comes to making a delicious Bolognese sauce, the ingredients matter. The key players are olive oil, red wine, and crushed tomatoes. It’s important to use high-quality olive oil to get that rich, savory taste. As for the red wine, Chianti, Pinot Pior, and Merlot are excellent choices that pair well with the sauce. To really bring out those flavors, it’s best to use ground crushed tomatoes, rather than chunky or diced varieties.

What is the best red wine to use in spaghetti bolognese?

As a sommelier, I often get asked about the best types of red wine to use for cooking. One wine that comes to mind is Merlot due to its versatility in the kitchen. However, if you’re thinking about making a delicious spaghetti Bolognese, I suggest going for an Italian varietal like Sangiovese or Graciano for a truly authentic taste.

Can you use red wine instead of white in Bolognese sauce?

When it comes to choosing between red and white wine for a sauce, both options come with their own unique style. Red wine tends to be bold and intense, making it suitable for dishes such as bolognese that need time for the wine’s flavor to seep into the other ingredients. On the other hand, white wine works well for dishes that require a lighter touch, allowing the meat to be the star of the show. If you plan on enjoying your meal on the same evening, I would suggest using white wine instead.

Bottom Line

In conclusion, there’s no doubt that spaghetti bolognese with red wine is a dish that will satisfy your cravings and impress your taste buds. The combination of rich tomato sauce and vibrant red wine creates a flavor profile that is nothing short of heavenly. Plus, with the added savory goodness of minced beef, this dish is the perfect comfort food for any occasion.

Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a newbie in the kitchen, this spaghetti bolognese recipe is easy to follow and will give you amazing results every time. What’s more, it offers plenty of substitution options that can accommodate different dietary requirements and flavor preferences.

So next time you’re in the mood for something hearty and delicious, try making spaghetti bolognese with red wine. Trust us, you won’t regret it!

Spaghetti Bolognese With Red Wine

Spaghetti Bolognese With Red Wine Recipe

This is an adaptation of a recipe by Ainsley Harriott. My husband usually doesn't like pasta but he finishes this before me and asks for more! It is slightly decadent in that it uses a bottle of red wine but is very good!
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Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Italian
Calories 1020.8 kcal


  • 500 g minced beef
  • 750 ml red wine, whatever you prefer
  • 1 teaspoon dried herbs
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 (400 g) can chopped tomatoes
  • 2 teaspoons dried chili pepper flakes
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons sweet chili sauce
  • 1 (500 g) packet spaghetti
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • parmesan cheese, to serve


  • Place the minced meat, red wine, mixed herbs and salt and pepper in a bowl.
  • Stir well.
  • Cover and refrigerate overnight or all day.
  • Heat oil in pan.
  • Stir fry onion and garlic until soft.
  • Add red wine mixture, tomato paste, canned tomatoes, sweet chili sauce and chili flakes.
  • Bring to the boil then simmer uncovered for 45 minutes or until most of the liquid has evaporated and the mixture resembles traditional bolognese consistency.
  • (it will be much darker colour than usual).
  • Cook the spaghetti as mentioned on the packet.
  • At the last minute, stir the chopped parsley through the sauce.
  • Add sauce to the drained spaghetti and top with grated Parmesan cheese.
  • Serve with a nice glass of red.

Add Your Own Notes


Serving: 592gCalories: 1020.8kcalCarbohydrates: 119.6gProtein: 43.5gFat: 24.6gSaturated Fat: 8.3gCholesterol: 85mgSodium: 136.8mgFiber: 6.6gSugar: 8.2g
Keyword < 60 Mins, Easy, Meat, Spaghetti
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