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Mom's Spaghetti Bolognese

Rated as 4.49 out of 5 Stars

"Recipe passed on from my Italian grandfather. The ultimate comfort food. Leftovers freeze nicely! To make this recipe more authentic, you can use a mixture of ground veal, pork, and beef. You can also substitute the balsamic vinegar for 1/2 cup of red wine."
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1 h servings 451
Original recipe yields 8 servings


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  1. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a rolling boil. Cook the spaghetti in the boiling water until cooked through yet firm to the bite, about 12 minutes; drain.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Cook the bacon in the oil until crisp, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir the onion, celery, carrot, and oregano into the bacon; continue cooking until the vegetables begin to soften, another 8 to 10 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Crumble the ground beef into the vegetable mixture; cook and stir until the beef is completely cooked and no longer pink, 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Pour the balsamic vinegar over the ground beef mixture; allow to simmer until the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Stir the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, and sugar into the ground beef mixture; bring the mixture to a boil, season with salt and black pepper, and remove from heat. Stir the fresh basil into the mixture.
  4. Ladle the sauce over the cooked spaghetti. Top with Parmesan cheese to serve.


  • Tip
  • Aluminum foil helps keep food moist, ensures it cooks evenly, keeps leftovers fresh, and makes clean-up easy.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 451 calories; 14 59.8 23.5 43 459 Full nutrition

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  1. 57 Ratings

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Most helpful positive review

This was excellent!

Most helpful critical review

Too little of everything, and needs more time simmering the sauce. This recipe is okay for 6 people, but not for 8. I used less tomato paste and no bacon. You need to let the sauce simmer for ...

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Most positive
Least positive

This was excellent!

A really excellent recipe. I was skeptical about the basalmic but it really worked. My only addition was a splash of red wine at the end. Delicious a definite keeper.

Best Bolognese I've made!! The bacon was SO good in this, and even though totally unhealthy I loved how you drain none of the bacon grease! It made this so, well, bacony ;) I used some frozen...

This was excellent. I loved the bacon flavour. My husband loved this too. Thanks so much for sharing!

Not bad! I've been searching for a decent bolognese sauce for some time now. While not "knock your socks off good," this was by far the best bolognese I've ever made. I pretty much followed stef...

This was an awesome dinner for my family. I made it a little differently though. We used whole wheat pene pasta instead of spaghetti and added 1/2 cup of red wine as well as the balsamic vin...

Wonderful Recipe ! I didn't have bacon, so I replaced it with diced turkey pastrami. Used turkey/pork sausage in place of hamburger and it was a fabulous dinner ! Thanks so much :)

This is the best bolognese EVER! I didn't even have all the ingredients (I didn't have carrots and celery, so I added bell peppers and cubanela pepper instead... not that they have much in comm...

This turned out amazing. Its a keeper. Just added 1/4 cup of cabernet and instead of white sugar I used brown sugar. Family loved it