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.

Recipe Summary

prep:
20 mins
cook:
40 mins
total:
1 hr
Servings:
8
Yield:
8 servings
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Ingredients

8
Original recipe yields 8 servings
The ingredient list now reflects the servings specified
Ingredient Checklist

Directions

Instructions Checklist
  • 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.

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  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Ladle the sauce over the cooked spaghetti. Top with Parmesan cheese to serve.

Nutrition Facts

451 calories; protein 23.5g 47% DV; carbohydrates 59.8g 19% DV; fat 14g 22% DV; cholesterol 42.7mg 14% DV; sodium 458.8mg 18% DV. Full Nutrition

Reviews (54)

Read More Reviews

Most helpful positive review

Rating: 5 stars
11/21/2011
This was excellent! Read More
(18)

Most helpful critical review

Rating: 3 stars
09/01/2015
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 at least 30 minutes, or the sauce will really not get it's full flavor. But altered, it was pretty delicious. Read More
(3)
75 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 51
  • 4 star values: 16
  • 3 star values: 7
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 1
Rating: 5 stars
11/21/2011
This was excellent! Read More
(18)
Rating: 5 stars
01/09/2012
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. Read More
(13)
Rating: 5 stars
01/12/2012
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 tomatoes from my garden last spring and just added a small can of tomato sauce to make it a little saucier. My daughter had seconds which is HIGHLY unusual. Great recipe....thanks! Read More
(10)
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Rating: 5 stars
01/06/2012
This was excellent. I loved the bacon flavour. My husband loved this too. Thanks so much for sharing! Read More
(6)
Rating: 4 stars
03/04/2012
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 stefy's directions to the letter except for subbing meatloaf mix (i.e. ground beef veal & pork) for plain 'ol beef. My grocer usually doesn't stock this but tonight I was in luck.:) I am really glad I was able to make an authentic bolognese and think it was worth the extra cost to do so. Served with garlic & butter dinner rolls and Caesar salad this was a very hearty meal. Thanks for sharing your grandfather's recipe stefychefy!:-) Read More
(4)
Rating: 5 stars
06/24/2014
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 vinegar. Our choice of meat was ground Italian sausage which made the flavor profile deep and rich with comforting goodness. A must save recipe. Read More
(4)
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Rating: 3 stars
09/01/2015
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 at least 30 minutes, or the sauce will really not get it's full flavor. But altered, it was pretty delicious. Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
11/26/2011
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:) Read More
(3)
Rating: 5 stars
01/24/2012
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 common:P) and even so it came out delicious! The amount of bacon is just right: it tastes "bacony" but it doesn't disguise the rest of the flavors. The balsamic gives a great touch! I used leftovers to make lasagna and it was another hit! From now on this will be my bolognese and lasagna meat (or meat sauce) recipe. Read More
(3)