The Perfect Spaghetti Bolognese – American Style

When I first started out with a family I had to teach myself many things. Cooking was one of those things that I had to do “trial and error”.

Spaghetti Bolognese |

When you have a family to cook for you have to develop standard dishes that they like and spaghetti seems to be the number one on the list. I worked on this recipe for about 3 years until I got it right.

I use a trio of tomato products to give the sauce the perfect consistency. That would be: stewed tomatoes, tomato sauce, and tomato paste. I also use spirits in my food and in spaghetti I use red wine.

Spaghetti Bolognese - American Style |

If you have an objection to this, you can use Balsamic vinegar to give the same flavor and add a touch of sugar to balance the vinegar.

Please understand that the taste of Balsamic vinegar is very strong and where you would use a mini bottle of wine for this recipe, you will want to use 2-3 tablespoons of the vinegar.

Also you get what you pay for. About $8 is a good amount to pay for Balsamic. A little more than you would usually pay for but not too much. A good bottle can be as much as $100, so $8 is more than reasonable.

Don’t have time to stay in the kitchen? Prep and forget our slow cooker spaghetti meat sauce. It’s just as hearty as this bolognese. 

American Style Spaghetti Bolognese |
The Perfect American-Style Spaghetti Bolognese
Votes: 2
Rating: 4.5
Rate this recipe!
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A meaty Spaghetti Bolognese that can serve your entire family and will more than likely provide some well received left overs as well.
American Style Spaghetti Bolognese |
The Perfect American-Style Spaghetti Bolognese
Votes: 2
Rating: 4.5
Rate this recipe!
Print Recipe
A meaty Spaghetti Bolognese that can serve your entire family and will more than likely provide some well received left overs as well.
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 lb ground Italian sausage mild or spicy to taste
  • 5 large cloves of garlic
  • 1/2 cup medium onion chopped
  • 1/2 green bell pepper chopped
  • 1 celery Stalk
  • oregano (in leaf, not ground)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 small bottle of red wine or 2 Tablespoons good Balsamic vinegar
  • 4-5 Tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 15 oz. Can Italian stewed tomatoes
  • 1 6 oz. Can tomato paste
  • 2 15 oz. Cans tomato sauce
  • 1-2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 lb. spaghetti pasta of your choice
  • 4-5 tablespoons olive oil
  1. Start by browning onion, beef and sausage in large frying pan. To chop garlic, use a chef's knife with a wide flat blade. Place the flat of the blade over the garlic and pound the flat of the blade with you fist, crushing the garlic. This will release the taste of the garlic and make it easier to chop. Then add garlic, chopped bell pepper, and celery. Allow mixture to brown a bit longer.
  2. When meat is totally brown add oregano. Do this by putting 2 pinches of oregano leaf between your palms, rubbing palms together making the leaf into powder. Clap you hands over the sauce to get all the oregano off. Adding it this way releases the flavor.
  3. Once you have added the oregano wait about 3 or 4 minutes and add the red wine. Let that cook down a bit and then add the can of stewed tomatoes. Once in the pan cut the tomatoes up so they are in smaller pieces. Once this has simmered for a few minutes add the tomato paste and tomato sauce. Let this cook for about 12-15 minutes on low. The finishing touch is to add 1 or 2 tablespoons of sugar to the sauce and stir thoroughly. First add one spoonful and taste. If the sauce seems to be a little tart or sour, then add the second spoonful of sugar and stir well.
  4. While the sauce is simmering, boil water for pasta in a big pot. Add 4 or 5 tablespoons of olive oil to the water to keep your pasta from sticking and then add a couple of pinches of salt to water. When water has reached a rolling boil add pasta. Check to separate pasta so it doesn't stick. I used to test pasta by throwing it at the wall and if it stuck it was done, but I can taste it now to see if it was done. I think it was just fun to throw it at the wall with the kids to see if it would stick.
Recipe Notes

American Style Spaghetti Bolognese |

You can serve the spaghetti sauce over the noodles or add the sauce to the pasta and mix together in the pan. I make garlic bread by spreading butter and sprinkling granulated garlic and parmesan cheese over the buttered bread. This makes a nice cheesy crust on the bread when you put it under the broiler. You can also add a salad with your choice of dressings. Buon Appetito!

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19 thoughts on “The Perfect Spaghetti Bolognese – American Style”

  1. Hey! I just want to say I cooked this recipe last night and my family loved it. The only thing I did different is not add sausage. A few members don’t like the taste of sausage and how it’s made. But anyway, it still came out wonderfully good. I think the 3 different tomato products made a huge difference. Thanks a bunch! xx

    • I actually did the same thing; prepared without the sausage. I left everything else the same. My family really enjoyed it! I was drawn to the article from the beautiful picture and I wanted to try to emulate it as much as possible..I took a photo of my own but I can’t seem to get it to upload with my comment. I’ll try again later so I can share how beautifully it came out!

    • I think one of the secrets of a good bolognese is to not stint on the tomato. I use at least one can of good quality tomato puree and often add a sachet of tomato paste as well. Likewise a goodly amount of red wine is essential in my book! And one has to balance the acidity with a bit of sugar – this also brings out the taste.I also personally like to put plenty of chopped parsley and basil into my sauce. Lastly, I do not like a watery sauce – simmer it until you have a glossy mixture rather than a watery one. And the final touch I believe is plenty of grated parmesan or a nice mature cheddar on top. A true family favorite.

  2. This recipe looks amazing! I have always wanted to try something other than normal spaghetti with tomato sauce. I’ve never really put the time into make it delicious because I never knew it could. Adding pork? I never knew people did that, what a great idea! I can see where it would add loads of flavor and give it a completely different twist. I think I’ll be giving this a try tonight. Thanks for the recipe!

  3. Love these photos! The spaghetti sauce looks so yummy. I am going to try this recipe this week. Bolognese is always a hit around here too. It’s a great comfort food.

  4. That looks heavenly, thanks for sharing your recipe!

    Personally I swear by grating some fresh Parmesan or Cheddar over the top of my pasta once I’m done. It imparts an added dimension of flavor, color and texture all at once!

  5. My cravings for some of that spaghetti is going off right about now. How mouth watering this one is. I love many of your recipes that you post on here. They are put together with such careful thought and made up with great quality and the right use of ingredients.

  6. Let me begin by saying that presentation is everything, that in itself is like an attractive advert that pulls one in to look therein…this article has done exactly that!…problem is… am overwhelmed, the blog itself is amazing, outpouring with all these fantastic recipes, now i need to come up with a kitchen time table seriously, then i assign myself the duty of trying out all or nearly all of these recipes…without a timetable, am sure to fail in my quest 🙂

    • Forget the timetable for now, my friend came to visit and came with a packet of spaghetti and i have to cook that, the problem is i always have ‘errors’ when i cook spaghetti…i always get the ‘clamping effect’…how do i get rid of that?!…if i can just make a plate just like the one in the presentation above…i’d be absolutely thrilled, that would be a milestone achieved 🙂

  7. I am surprised about how quick this is to make. Most Spaghetti Bolognese recipes tend to involve at least an hour of simmering so I’m happy to discover a shortcut. dianthare, you can stop the “clamping” by adding a pinch of salt to the water before you place the pasta in. Hope this helps!

  8. The combination of Italian sausage and ground beef gives your sauce a very unique taste. I often combine the sausage with turkey meat instead of ground beef, the final sauce is very good. Thanks for receipe.

  9. Oh my! I’ve made spaghetti sauce with ground meat, and I’ve made it with sausage, but never both in the same recipe. It looks amazingly genius though! I also never thought of adding balsamic vinegar to a sauce. It sounds genius, and I’m not sure why I did not do it with my stovepot sauces since, when I’m roasting cherry tomatoes with garlic in the oven, I add balsamic vinegar to it and the result is amazing too. Thanks for the ideas! It’ll help vary my next pasta dishes.

  10. Spaghetti bolognese has long been one of my favourite dishes but i always tend to make it in exactly the same way but now i can’t wait to try your recipe. Yours is one of the best looking dishes i have seen. Lots of people think they have the correct way of making Spaghetti bolognese and opinions vary greatly.

    The Italian chefs recommend making it with pancetta. I will be attempting your recipe this evening.

  11. I have to be honest I have been stuck in a jarred sauce rut. Its my go to for a quick meal on a busy school night. This recipe sounds easy enough and I am hoping that it will cure me of my jarred pasta sauce blues. We are all sick of spaghetti because the jarred stuff just doesn’t taste the same as home made. I have to be honest the idea of celery in the sauce is weird to me but I can see that it would add to the building of flavors. I would have to cut the celery and bell pepper really fine since I’m not crazy about either of them. All in all I think this looks delectable and I will surely give it a try. My husband will especially like it because it has Italian sausage!

  12. I have a question: What’s the point of the sugar? I’m not a fan of sugar in any gravy I make. ‘Americanized’ or not. It seems like an addition based on taste & not necessity. Is there something to that addition that I’m missing?

  13. I’m not even kidding, the name had me a little weary. Lol but once I read through, this sounds really good! I’ve been looking for a sauce recipe for a long time. But I’ve had to stick with the jarred sauce. Out of everything I have tried and experimented with, this is the hardest for me. I can’t wait to try this, though. It looks and sounds so delicious! And I think my famil will be impressed that I managed to pull it off.

  14. It is nice to see a variation on the classic spaghetti. You are right in that cooking takes practice. There have been times when I have messed up on the simplest of things. Though the benefits of keeping up with this skill will last a life time. You can control taste, texture, and even throw some things in a crock pot if you want to do other things.

  15. I made this at the weekend for some friends and they loved it! I added some fresh basil when I served it up – only because I cannot imagine pasta without fresh basil. Thank you for the recipe, it will definitely be getting used again!

  16. Just the picture alone looks delightful. I can’t wait to try this recipe. Even though I already have my own version of spaghetti, it never hurts to try other styles and ingredients from time to time. I will probably try it with the vinegar, only because I’m unused to cooking with spirits, but I think it will become quite a popular recipe in my house.

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