Our Favorite Spaghetti Bolognese

Our Favorite Spaghetti Bolognese

Growing up, one of my mom’s favorite suppers to make was spaghetti with hamburger. I absolutely detested it! The reason, I have since come to find out, is because we were not making true spaghetti bolognese but… well, the processed version. You see, we spent our good money on highly processed noodles, marinara sauce out of a plastic bottle, and most often the ground beef on sale. Now, this is not a reflection or opinion on what your family can afford. I hope it never comes across that way! My goal, as a food writer, is to simply put forward an idea that food coming from as close to the source as possible will change your entire opinion, your entire life even, on eating. I am the healthiest I have ever been in my entire life, and I love to eat. I spend most of my day eating!

My mom recently requested spaghetti with hamburger, or ground beef, while on a trip down memory lane. We had recently acquired some of our neighbor and CSA partner’s 90/10% ground beef (which is amazing - if you are thinking of signing up for 2019 CSA, be sure to latch onto a beef share!) and wanted to give it a try. We have never been so satisfied and amazed by beef. Raised on pasture and hormone free. So good! Not to mention that the fat percentages are just incredible. Whenever I cook Farmer John’s beef there is hardly any grease! I fried up the beef in the skillet and tossed in some of our home canned tomatoes from the garden. My mind was blown! Never had I ever liked spaghetti and hamburger, but a more mature spaghetti bolognese I could get behind.

Ingredients + Recipe |

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 lb ground beef (preferably homegrown, pasture raised, 90/10%)

  • 1 onion, diced

  • 4 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 1/2 tsp pepper

  • 1 tsp dried basil

  • 1 tsp dried parsley

  • 1 tsp dried oregano

  • 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes (preferably homegrown)

  • 1 8 oz can tomato paste

  • 1/2 lb spaghetti noodles

  • freshly grated parmesan to taste

  1. In a large cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. While it’s not necessarily recommended in true Italian cooking, I have used butter in substitute and it was delicious!

  2. Toss in the ground beef, onions, and garlic. Cook until the beef is no longer pink and the onions are translucent, about 5-7 minutes.

  3. Add the salt, pepper, basil, parsley, oregano. After everything is seasoned to taste, add the diced tomatoes and paste. Stir in with a spatula until well mixed.

  4. Heat to a boil and lower to a simmer. Cook for at least 20 minutes, though I have found 30 minutes is about the perfect time, or until desired thickness is reached.

  5. As the sauce cooks, make the noodles according to package directions. Once cooked, drain and add back to the pot. Pour the bolognese sauce over the noodles and heat together over medium/low heat for about 3-5 minutes. You want the noodles to completely soak in the sauce.

  6. Serve warm topped with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

This dish is a huge crowd pleaser in our family. It feels like home and comfort. My parents and I both grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago, so we were all raised on hearty Italian food. While we are not personally Italian, I have to say that I have been influenced with my own cooking by Italian beef, lasagna, and deep dish pizza. Just thinking about it makes me want to take a trip back home and hit up my favorite spots! You will have to try this recipe out and see exactly what I am talking about. Be sure to pair it with my Italian bread recipe. This is the bread that I make most often for supper!

What types of foods influenced you growing up? I’d love to hear all about it!

xoxo Kayla


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