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Recipes for Spaghetti Bolognese and Tomato Frito

Updated on April 9, 2013

I've always loved spaghetti bolognese, and it's one of these recipes that everyone knows how to make, but it tastes ever so slightly different each time you eat it in a different home or restaurant.

I'm writing this recipe down for my children, who adore it, or at least my version of it. I never did teach them how to make it, and now they can go online and read how to do, the way their mam made it for them.


1lb minced beef (ground beef)

1 medium sized onion

2 cloves of garlic

1tsp salt

1/2tsp freshly ground black pepper

I medium can tomato frito (Heinz make it - if you can't buy it locally, recipe at the bottom)

1 15oz can whole tomatoes, chopped (it's a bit cheaper to buy the whole tomatoes)

1tsp oregano

1tsp parsley

1 large or 2 small bay leafs

3 whole mushrooms, chopped

1 tsp sweet basil

1tbsp olive oil for frying

Cook the bolognaise sauce

Chop onion and place in pot with olive oil. Fry gently for 4- 5 minutes till softened. Grind or mash garlic and add after onion has been frying for 1 - 2 minutes.

Add mince (ground beef) and stir until browned all over.

Add salt, pepper and chopped tomatoes and tomato frito. If you don't have any frito, add a can of tomato puree and 1 tsp sugar.

Bring to boil while stirring occasionally.

Add parsley, oregano and bay leaves.

Reduce heat, cover, and simmer for at least one hour, I sometimes let it simmer for longer.

Cook the Spaghetti

Fifteeen minutes before you are due to serve dinner, place your dried spaghetti in a large pot of boiling salted water. A little olive oil added to the water at this stage will help prevent the pasta sticking. When it is ready according to either taste or the packet instructions, drain through a colander over the kitchen sink and place colander over the pot it was cooked in, to steam off.

Go back to the sauce, stir well, remove bay leaves, and add the sweet basil.

Let it cook for minute or two longer, then serve.

Bolognaise sauce should always be served on top of a bed of spaghetti or pasta, not the other way round.

Sprinkle with grated parmesan, cheddar or a cheese of your choosing.

Serves 3 -4 people.

Accompaniments (matter of choice or Preference)

1. Grated cheese, not necessarily parmesan. Cheddar is nicer but it's a matter of personal choice.

2. Crusty bread, warmed.

3. Garlic bread.

$. Fresh chopped tomato and a few lettuce leaves

Recipe for tomato frito


2lbs fresh tomatoes, skinned and cored

1 onion

1 clove garlic

1 tsp salt

2 tsp granulated sugar

4 tbsp olive oil

tomato frito
tomato frito | Source


Chop garlic and onion and fry in olive oil for about 5 - 7 minutes until well-softened.

Add tomatoes and fry gently, stirring occasionally for about 15 - 20 minutes.

Add sugar, salt and pepper, if desired and continue cooking for another 5 minutes or so.

Remove from heat and add to a blender and blend till smooth.

Either use straight away, or freeze for future use.


Chopped or diced carrot can be added to the spaghetti bolognese sauce for extra flavour and nutrition.

Mushrooms can be omitted if you don't care for them, but they do add to the flavour. You can always pick them out of your portion if you don't want to eat them.

Try to get sweet basil instead of ordinary basil for this recipe. It tastes so much better.


tsp - teaspoon

tbsp - tablespoon

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    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from UK

      You're welcome JayJay :)

    • jayjay40 profile image


      8 years ago from Bristol England

      Love this recipe. I've bookmarked it, Thanks

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from UK

      Here's another thing I've learnt over the years - it tastes even better if cooked the night before and allowed to stand to let the flavours permeate.

      Kimberly, Enjoy!

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I so just printed this off for tomorrows dinner

      can't wait

      thanks girl


    • Merlin Fraser profile image

      Merlin Fraser 

      8 years ago from Cotswold Hills

      You hit the nail on the head there; Freash tomatoes when cooked aren't red, so what does that tell you about the maufactured varieties ?

      I used to bottle surplus cherry tomatoes, simply blanched in boiling water and skinned. In a Killner type jar, layer of tomatoes sprinkle of salt, layer of tomatoes and so on.

      Three months later when the seal was popped, that juice was the best tomato juice I ever tasted, made fantastic Bloody Marys, it was slightly pinkish but still clear.

      So can I urge you to think twice before popping those jars of prepared sauces...

      When's Your Dolmio Day ?

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from UK

      Tomato frito when bought in the shops tastes the same as Heinz tomato soup. Not surprisingly, Heinz make it but under a different label here.

      Home made frito has added sugar, same as the canned variety and OK I know it's not healthy, but it tastes great in a bolognaise sauce!

      Before frito cam along, as I said I used canned tomatoes. Fresh tomatoes are better but they don't seem to have the right colour when cooked - they aren't red! Grated carrot can help change the colour, but again it's not that important what colour it is really.

    • expats profile image


      8 years ago from UK

      Oh I don`t know, even the professional chefs do, on occasion, suggest using tinned tomatoes. Me, I just love any and all types of tomatoes. As for spagbol, love it!

    • Merlin Fraser profile image

      Merlin Fraser 

      8 years ago from Cotswold Hills

      'Scuse my manly ignorance but why do you need tomato frito and a can whole tomatoes ?

      Looking at your Frito recipe at the bottom I think I would just use that as the basis for the Bolognaise. Using fresh tomatoes is always much better than then tinned things, and they don't turn your pan and tools orange...

      Also as a substitute for Parmaesan give Pecorino Roma a whirl, it has a sharper tangier taste to it.

    • De Greek profile image

      De Greek 

      8 years ago from UK

      There goes my diet again...

    • IzzyM profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from UK

      LOL, Lorlie, yes it is Italian, but there has been a strong Italian presence in Scotland since the 1st World War. I'm not related to any that I know of, but I do have an Argentinian great-granny! Oh the tomato frito mentioned above is Spanish. Before I learned of it, I used to use two cans of tomatoes, or sometimes 1 can and a big dollop of tomato puree.

    • lorlie6 profile image

      Laurel Rogers 

      8 years ago from Bishop, Ca

      Now I understand that you're a Scot living in Spain, but this recipe is unmistakably Italian! I grew up in an Italian household, Osso Bucco, etc., and this would fit in perfectly. Izzy-perhaps you're even more international than you thought! :)



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