Chilli Bolognese sauce is a perfect make-ahead meal. Make a double batch – eat half tonight and freeze half for another day. Serve over a bowl of spaghetti or rice for a meal the whole family will enjoy.
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 for an extra kick. It’s the perfect warming supper dish that we all need now that winter is approaching and the nights are drawing in.
Of course, if you are not a lover of chilli, or you find this is too hot for the kiddies, you can just leave the chilli out. It tastes just as good without it.
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. The longer it simmers, the more the flavour develops. Perfect for when you don’t have much time to spend standing over the stove.
I think every one loves a good Italian meal, and this is one of the quickest and easiest recipes I know. It only takes 15 minutes to prep and get it simmering on the stove. The rest of the time it just simmers away gently until you are ready to use it.
How to make the chilli bolognese sauce
Whenever I read a recipe I like to have a look at the ingredients to see whether I have everything I need. To make it easy for you – I’ve listed the ingredients below. You can get the full list of ingredients and quantities in the printable recipe card further down in the post.
To make chilli bolognese sauce you will need the following ingredients:
- Minced Beef and Minced Pork – I like to combine beef and mince pork in these types of recipes because I find the pork makes the dish juicier and adds additional flavour. You could just use all beef mince if you prefer.
- Onions – chopped into 1cm dice.
- Mushrooms chopped. If your family doesn’t like mushrooms you can leave them out.
- Celery – finely chopped
- Tomatoes chopped
- Carrot finely grated – use the smallest hole on your grater for this. The idea is for the carrot to cook away in the sauce and add flavor, not dominate the dish.
- Can Chopped Tomatoes – this is in addition to the fresh tomatoes. It helps to form a nice rich gravy
- Sugar – optional. I always add a small amount of sugar when cooking with tomatoes. It brings out the flavour of the tomato and cuts through any tartness.
- Garlic – finely chopped
- Chilli paste – optional
- Olive Oil – for sauteing the onions and mince
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper – to your own taste
- Dried Italian herbs – you can use mixed herbs or a mixture of oregano, majoram and basil. Don’t overdo the herbs though – you want them to complement the dish, not overpower it.
Peel the onion and carrot. Wash the tomatoes, celery and mushrooms.
Chop the onion, tomatoes and mushrooms into 1cm dice. Slice the celery finely. Grate the carrot.
Heat a large frying pan or wok and add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Fry the beef and pork, stirring
Remove from the pan and set aside while you cook the vegetables.
Pour the other tablespoon of olive oil into the same pan and fry the onions, garlic, celery and mushrooms, until the onions are translucent. Add the fresh chopped tomatoes and fry until they start to soften.
Return the meat to the pan and add the rest of the ingredients , stir through, and bring to the boil.
Reduce the heat to a very low simmer, put the lid on the pan and leave for at least 30 minutes.
Check that it does not boil dry
Check occasionally to make sure it is not boiling dry.
You should not need to add any additional liquid in this recipe. There should be sufficient moisture from the vegetables and tinned tomatoes to form a nice rich gravy. If you find it IS boiling dry, make sure the heat is set as low as possible, dissolve a beef stock cube in 1 cup of boiling water and add to the pan as needed.
Does this sauce freeze well?
This sauce freezes beautifully. I always made a double batch and freeze the leftovers for another day. You can keep this in the freezer for up to 4 months.
And it is so versatile. If you have a batch of this in the freezer you will never be wondering ‘what can I have for supper?‘ Here are some of the ways you can serve it:
- Pile it on to a bed of spaghetti, top with grated parmesan cheese and serve with a fresh green salad and a slice of garlic bread.
- Ladle it over a bowl of fluffy white rice and serve with a side helping of peas.
- Use it as a filling for curried dough balls. Perfect for a Friday night supper with a difference.
- Turn it into real homemade sausage rolls, and serve as a quick lunch or a party snack.
To make this recipe you will need the following equipment. In case you are missing something I have included some links to my Amazon shop pages, where you might just find the item you are looking for.
- Chopping board
- Sharp knife
- Wok or large frying pan – you will need one with a lid for simmering the sauce
- Grater – this one has a side for grating very fine carrots.
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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.
Recipe – Chilli Bolognese Sauce
Chilli Bolognese Sauce
- 250 g Minced Beef
- 250 g Minced Pork
- 2 large Onions cut into 1cm dice
- 1/2 punnet Mushrooms chopped
- 2 stick Celery thinly sliced
- 4 ripe Tomatoes chopped into 1cm dice
- 1 medium Carrot finely grated
- 1 tin Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 teaspoon Sugar optional
- 4 cloves Garlic finely chopped
- 2 Tablespoons Chilli paste optional
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 teaspoon Dried Italian herbs
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Stir fry the beef and pork mince in 1 Tablespoon olive oil in a large saucepan or wok until the meat is browned and crumbly. Set aside.
- Add 1 tablespoon olive oil to the same pan and fry the garlic, onions, chopped mushrooms and celery until the onions start to soften and the mushrooms have released their moisture
- Add the fresh tomatoes and stir fry until the tomatoes start to soften
- Add the meat and the rest of the ingredients to the pan, stir through, and bring to the boil.
- Reduce the heat to a very low simmer, put the lid on the pan and leave for at least 30 minutes.
The calorie count has been calculated using an on-line calculator and is provided for information purposes only. If the calorie count is important to you, you should consider calculating it yourself, using your preferred tool.
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