Best Bolognese

Serves 4 • Preparation time: 10 minutes • Cooking time: 2 hours 15 minutes

3 tablespoons olive oil

2 onions

4 cloves of garlic

200g streaky bacon (as fatty as you can find)

1kg minced beef

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 level tablespoons tomato purée

Cost per portion: 
  1. Heat the oil in a largish saucepan. Finely chop the onions and garlic and add these to the pan, allowing to soften over the heat for 2 minutes
  2. While these are cooking, chop the bacon into small pieces and add to the pan
  3. When the bacon is starting to go brown at the edges, add the minced beef and stir to break it up so that it gets browned all over
  4. Add the tinned tomatoes, cinnamon and tomato purée and stir
  5. Put a lid on the pan and leave to simmer for 2–3 hours, adding water if necessary to prevent it drying out.  Once the time is up, you’re Bolognese is ready to eat



  • This is a very versatile dish – you can use the Bolognese to make lasagne, or why not stuff courgettes or tomatoes with it and bake in a hot oven for 20 minutes.   Another idea is to slice some potatoes, lay them on top of the Bolognese and bake in the oven for 30 minutes
  • If serving the Bolognese with spaghetti, try adding some grated Cheddar or Parmesan on top – delicious!
  • The long cooking time is essential to give this dish real depth. Resist the temptation to shorten it too much!
Age range: 
Ages 9 to 12
Best Bolognese