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Bolognese Meat Sauce

for Spaghetti and Lasagne

A classic Italian recipe and a simple family favourite; the better the ingredients, the better your bolognese will be.


I used local grass-fed ground beef from Tilldale Farm in NY via the fabulous Farmers to You, who bring the farm to the city each week! FTY cares deeply about sustainable farming, soil nutrition and a healthy food system that will heal the planet and reconnect families in the greater Boston area with farm-fresh food from across northern New England & NY.

  • Serves4
  • Cooks in 20-25 mins
  • Prep time 10 mins
  • Grounding

    Spices, herbs and foods that are grounding, warming and calming with earthy rich tones and flavours.  These foods help the body relax are generally rich in anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial nutrients.

  • Prep in Advance
  • Mineral Rich

    Ingredients are naturally rich in essential minerals. Salty taste in botanicals like parsley, nettles, seaweeds indicates the plants have a high mineral content.

  • Anti Oxidants

    Anti-oxidant are phytonutrients that can help slow & prevent cellular damage from free radicals that can cause disease. Many plants contain anti-oxidants.

  • Protein

    Recipes with protein-rich ingredients.  Examples of high protein foods include; eggs, meat, fish, seafood, poultry, dairy, quinoa, teff, millet, wild rice, oats, buckwheat, amaranth, sorghum, wheat, nuts, seeds, hemp seeds, peas, beans, lentils, legumes, soy, tofu & tempeh, broccoli, brussels, spinach, kale, mushrooms, nutritional yeast.


adds to shopping list

  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 red onion – diced small
  • 2-4 garlic cloves – fine chop
  • 1 lb | 454g beef - ground & local
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1 large can crushed tomatoes - 28 oz | 780g
  • ½ cup water - rinse out tomato can
  • 2 tsp oregano - dried
  • 1 tsp mix Italian herbs - dried
  • 1 tsp salt + pepper
  • 1-2 tbsp soy sauce | tamari


Bolognese Meat Sauce


IN A SAUCEPAN stainless saucepan on medium heat.


ADD add olive oil, onion, garlic – sauté for 2mins stirring occasionally until onion softens.


ADD ground Beef and brown it – on high heat – stirring every minute or so until nicely browned.  It is ok if bits stick to the bottom of the pan as that adds a little flavour.


ADD tomato paste; cook 1 mins stirring.


ADD canned tomatoes and rinse the can with ½ cup of water. 


LID ON low simmer for 15 mins – stir occasionally.


ADD dried herbs, salt, + pepper—low simmer lid on another 5mins.


ADD Soy sauce | Tamari – TASTE herb and salt level, adjust to your taste.  TURN off the heat.


SERVE with cooked spaghetti for a classic bolognese.


Serving Ideas
Classic Italian Spaghetti Bolognese – with cooked spaghetti + shaved parmesan and fresh herbs.
with any cooked pasta or grain or flatbread.
as the meat sauce layer in lasagne.
with a side of Simple Crisp Salad.

with Broccoli Almond & Caramelised Onion Salad.
Roasted spaghetti squash.
Roasted Cauliflower Salad.
with vegetable noodles like zucchini or butternut.
with sides of lettuce leaf tacos or cabbage style slaw.

Chef Hat Icon Chef tips + Ingredient Swaps + Ideas

SWAP BEEF for ground turkey, pork, chicken – from your local farmer, pasture-raised = conscious cooking.


PLANT-BASED swap beef for plant-based alternative or 3 cups cooked brown lentils.


ADD FRESH HERBS finely chopped like – parsley, rosemary, oregano, thyme, marjoram.


ADD MUSHROOMS – 1 cup finely diced to base with onions. 


MAKE-AHEAD this is almost better the next day as the flavours deepen.


FREEZES well, so make a double batch and freeze in portions

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