Spaghetti ​​Bolognese​

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The Spaghetti Bolognese or the Spag Bol for short is a world-renowned dish. One that contains a rich tomato and meat based sauce and is served with pasta.

Although it is not traditionally Italian. Yes, you read that right! the Italian’s do not use spaghetti in this dish… The pasta used is usually tagliatelle.

Although just try to say that to the rest of the world!

Where did it come from?

Some bloke by the name of Pellegrino Artusi in the late 18th Century created a cookbook. Which he called ‘La Scienza in Cucina e L‘arte Di Mangiar BeneThis was the third book that he had written, the two before this on disappeared without a trace. He also couldn’t get it published so rather than giving up, he decided that he would self fund it. He sold more than 200,000 copies before he died. That’s a lot of books!

In his book, he mentions a recipe for a meat sauce for pasta that is specifically described as being “bolognese”. It came from a town which is called Imola, which is near Bologna and was called Maccheroni alla bolognese.

This recipe is different from the more modern recipes. The Italian Academy of Cuisine registered a recipe for ‘Authentic Ragù Alla Bolognese’ in 1982, which also contains milk and pancetta. Right or wrong this is the recipe that people now consider to be the most authentic. It is amazing what registering a dish with authentic in its name does for its authenticity!

The Orginal Spaghetti Bolognese

The recipe originally called for Lean veal, Butter, carrots, onions some broth.

In his book, he also says that you can add mushrooms. Yup, Mushrooms! if you are in the team ‘No Mushrooms in Bolognase’ you are wrong! This because the bloke that created the recipe says so.

So sit there in your wrongness and be wrong!

Although I can tell you what this bloke Pellergrino didn’t put in his recipe though;

Additives and preservatives!

Here is a list of additives from a “premium” store brought Spaghetti Bolognese meal for one;

  • Sodium Nitrate
  • Potassium Nitrate
  • Calcium carbonate
  • Sodium Ascorbate

I strongly believe that these additives have no place in our food. If they are then the food is pretty much junk food. A quick google search on these shows that they have side effects, some not so serious others very serious, so why do people eat this?


or rather the lack of it. You only have to look at the cover of a pre-packaged spaghetti Bolognese. It looks really appetising. Especially if you have stayed late at work and you need to get home to feed your cats.

There are slogans of ‘made with free-range eggs’ and ‘succulent beef’ plastered across the packaging along with a picture-perfect shot of a Spaghetti Bolognese. what lies within the packaging will never look like the picture on the front. Never! Yet we buy it anyway without giving any thought to the small print on the underneath.

So you go home you pout this in the oven, feed your cats, eat and go to bed. Your alarm and you wonder why you are feeling a bit distant. You have a headache and you can’t really focus. You don’t give a thought to the fact the case could be the “premium’ Spag bol you ate last night because why would it be? it was a ‘premium’ meal after all…

Healthy version

Whether you follow the Classical or the Authentic recipe or one passed down from your family and is Authentic Italian. You wouldn’t dream of actually putting spaghetti in it. You should learn to make this beautiful Italian dish. Not just because of the lack of additives in it but because if you make a batch and freeze it its works out cheaper to make. Much cheaper.

If you unsure on how to create a Spag Bol catch the video below

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