Neither traditional chilli nor classic Bolognese, but delicious nevertheless. A hearty helping of chilli flavoured mince, laden with tomatoes and onions, served on a bed of spaghetti. Comfort food at its best.
Occasionally I let Graham loose in the kitchen, and he never fails to surprise me. This is his recipe for chilli bolognese sauce. It’s loaded with mushrooms, tomatoes and garlic, and laced with chilli.
It’s super tasty, served over a bed of spaghetti with a side helping of crispy garlic bread and green salad.
This chilli bolognese sauce is one of those recipes that you can just throw together and then leave to simmer until you are ready for it. Perfect for when you don’t have much time to spend standing over the stove.
Combine pork and beef mince for extra flavour
This recipe uses beef and pork mince in equal quantities. I find the pork mince adds more flavour and the sauce seems juicier. We also don’t chop the onions and mushrooms too finely – 1 cm dice is perfect. The chunkiness of the vegetables provides a nice texture to the sauce.
Does this sauce freeze well?
Absolutely. Just pop any left-overs into a suitable freezer container and it will keep perfectly for up to 3 months.
How do I make the chilli bolognese sauce?
To make the sauce, just brown the meat on the stove until it is no longer pink. Add the onions along with the mushrooms, celery and garlic and let it fry for a few minutes to soften the onions. Then add the fresh tomatoes and carrot and stir it up until the tomatoes soften. Finally, add the tinned tomatoes and seasoning, give it a final stir and let it simmer until cooked.
Serve over a bed of spaghetti with garlic bread and a green salad on the side.
Where does bolognese sauce originate from?
If, like me, you are interested in the origins of food, you may like to take a look at this article that give a little insight into where bolognese sauce originated.
Graham’s Chilli Bolognese
- 250 g Minced Beef
- 250 g Minced Pork
- 2 large Onions finely chopped
- 1/2 punnet Mushrooms chopped – see note 1
- 2 stick Celery chopped
- 4 ripe Tomatoes chopped
- 1 large Carrot grated
- 1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Sugar optional
- 4 cloves Garlic finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Chilli paste See note 2
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Stir fry the beef and pork mince in the olive oil in a large saucepan or wok until the meat is browned and crumbly. There should be no lumps of unbrowned meat
- Add the garlic, onions, chopped mushrooms and celery and continue to stir fry until the onions start to soften and the mushrooms have released their moisture
- Add the fresh tomatoes and grated carrots and stir fry until the tomatoes start to soften
- Add the chilli paste, sugar and tinned tomatoes, season with salt and pepper and simmer on a low heat with the lid on for 30 – 40 minutes until all the flavours have come together. See note 3
- Serve over a bed of spaghetti
- If you don’t like mushrooms you can leave them out.
- The amount of chilli that you use is entirely up to you. When I asked Graham how much chilli he’d used, he said 2 big squirts from the tube. I translated that into 2 Tablespoons, and there was just enough heat for the sauce to be spicy but not enough to blow your head off.
- I always add a teaspoon of sugar when cooking with tomatoes – it cuts through the tartness and brings out the flavour of the tomatoes. You could leave this out if you prefer
- The timing isn’t exact. This sauce can simmer away for as long as you like. I personally think a longer cooking time improves the flavour. Just keep your eye on t so it doesn’t boil dry. If it does lose too much moisture, dissolve a beef stock cube in boiling water and top it up.
You may like to try some of my other easy suppers:
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Til next time – happy cooking – VJ