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Beef Ragù Pasta

A popular favourite; spaghetti bolognese. Simple to make, this pasta recipe is made up of beef ragu and pancetta in a rich tomato, red wine and oregano sauce.

From the book

Dean Edwards


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.

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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 ½ 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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