Mum’s Bolognese

I feel like I’ve been teasing you all with the meal for a couple of weeks now – as part of my meal planning this week, and a few weeks ago I shared it as a Flashback Friday to the first meal I learnt how to cook 🙂 My Mum’s Bolognese isn’t just the best because it’s my Mum’s, I really do think it is the best and only way to do bolognese – chunky. Granted it did take me a while to learn how to chop up the carrot and celery small enough for it to be easy to eat, but I think bolognese as my first recipe isn’t too bad going 😉

Not only is the chunky bits of veg in there what makes this dish so homely and wonderful, but the addition of the diced pancetta, red wine and – the special ingredient – dried porcini mushrooms. They add a richness and earthy quality unlike any bolognese I’ve ever had, and make the cooking process that bit more enjoyable as the delicious aroma of the soaking mushrooms fills the kitchen. If I had the time, I would literally sit with my nose over the bowl and just breathe in that incredible flavour until they were done.


But, insane amount of superlatives aside, you want to know how to make it 😉

Mum’s Bolognese

Serves 4



Olive Oil for Frying

1 Red onion, chopped

1 Garlic clove, crushed

1 Carrot, diced

1 Stick of celery, sliced

160g Diced pancetta

500g minced beef

1 1/2 tins chopped tomatoes

2 tsp Dried oregano

170ml Red wine

50g Dried porcini mushrooms, soaked, drained and chopped

2 tbsp Sundried tomato paste

200g pasta

Parmesan cheese (to serve)


1. Heat the oil in a large frying pan and fry the onions until soft. Add the garlic, celery, carrots and pancetta. Fry for a few minutes until the pancetta starts to crisp.

2. Add the beef and fry until brown, then drain off all excess fat. Stir in the tomatoes, oregano, red wine and mushrooms. Simmer for 45 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to pack instructions, but remove from the pan and drain just before becoming al dente.

3. Stir in the tomato paste to the bolognaise and heat through for another minute, then add the cooked pasta and stir through for another minute or two to finish cooking in the sauce. Serve with lashings of parmesan cheese 😀

Cooking the pasta in the sauce for the final few minutes is a trick I learnt from Nadia G of Bitchin Kitchen – an absolutely insane Italian-Canadian comedienne/cooking presenter, so she knows what she’s talking about 😉

I hope you enjoy this bolognese as much as my whole family do, and becomes a staple part of your cooking repertoire!

Lotsa Love x


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