Beef Ragù Pasta

By Dean Edwards Dean Edwards From the book Mincespiration!
Beef Ragù Pasta

Spaghetti bolognese, or pasta with beef ragù sauce, is now one of Britain’s best-loved dishes, but the version many of us eat is far removed from the Italian classic. This is the recipe that I was brought up on and have grown to love, and even if I have to throw on some Cheddar instead of Parmesan it’s still great! Definitely has to be served with garlic bread.

For how many? Serves 4


  • olive oil
  • 500 g beef mince
  • 2 onions, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 100 g smoked, cubed pancetta
  • 300 ml red wine
  • 2 x 400 g cans of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée
  • 300 ml beef stock
  • 1 tbsp dried oregano
  • Small pinch of sugar
  • 300 g spaghetti
  • Small bunch of fresh basil, leaves torn
  • Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper


Heat a large saucepan, add a dash of oil, then fry the mince for 5–6 minutes over a high heat until browned. Add the onions, garlic and pancetta and cook for another 6–7 minutes, then pour in the red wine. Continue to cook until the liquid has reduced by half.

Add the tomatoes, tomato purée, stock and oregano and mix well. Bring the sauce to a simmer, then cover and cook over a low heat for 1 1/2 hours - a long time I know, but well worth the wait! Season with salt, pepper and a small pinch of sugar.

Cook the pasta in plenty of salted boiling water according to the packet instructions, then drain. Toss it with the ragù sauce and fresh basil, then serve with grated Parmesan.

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